By  on July 24, 2007

IRVINE, Calif. — St. John Knits said Monday that Rick Chilcott has been appointed executive vice president of retail, replacing Ralph Polese, who left the company.

Chilcott will report to interim chief executive officer Bruce Fetter and oversee retail operations for St. John's boutiques and outlets. He starts Aug. 13.

"Rick is joining us just in time to oversee the updating of our stores...he has a terrific sense of product and resources," Fetter said.

Chilcott joins St. John from Paperchase Products Ltd. (a subsidiary of the Borders Group Inc.), where he was senior vice president of U.S. and Asian Pacific markets. Prior to Paperchase, Chilcott was vice president for Cole Haan retail stores in North America and previously worked at Nordstrom for 17 years.

Chilcott's appointment is St. John's first major outside recruitment since it hired chief merchant and head of design Lowell Breving from Hermes two years ago. The 45-year-old company is still searching for a permanent ceo, and has brought back founder Marie Gray and daughter Kelly Gray, as well as Fetter and vice president of design Maria D. Lopez.

"This whole year has been about building back our business and we're very excited about what's been happening at St. John," Fetter said.

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