Wang Named President at Tory Burch

Mary Wang is departing as brand president of DKNY to become president of Tory by TRB, the women’s lifestyle collection designed by Tory Burch.

NEW YORK — Mary Wang, brand president of DKNY, has been named president of Tory by TRB, the women’s lifestyle collection designed by Tory Burch.

Wang has been president of the DKNY brand since 2002, where she oversaw all aspects of the women’s, men’s, accessories and footwear businesses. Before that, she was president of U.S. wholesale at Coach, and earlier held executive posts at Emanuel and Tommy Hilfiger. Her most recent role at DKNY marked her return to the firm, having previously been vice president of merchandising for DKNY Women’s and later president of DKNY Women’s.

She will join Tory by TRB in early November and will be responsible for all global sales, production, merchandising and marketing. She will be based at the company’s Midtown offices opening shortly at 10 East 33rd Street here and will report to the company’s board, which consists of Christopher Burch, chairman and chief executive officer, and his wife, Tory Burch, founder and creative director. Christopher Burch is also a venture capitalist.

Jeffry Aronsson, ceo of Donna Karan International, couldn’t be reached for comment Thursday, but said in a statement, “She [Wang] helped us rebuild the brand and importantly developed an innovative merchandising, production and sales team who work in alignment with the creative design team headed by Jane Chung. Editorial and retail response has been very positive, and this is reflected in the growing sales at retail.” Aronsson said “a successor will be named shortly to continue the turnaround and momentum she and the team have realized for the DKNY brand.”

Tory by TRB, a lifestyle collection of sportswear and accessories, was launched in August 2003 by Tory Burch and her Hong Kong partner, Fiona Kotur Marin. The first line hit stores last February. Priced between contemporary and bridge, items include rhinestone-trimmed caftans, sportswear, outerwear, handbags, footwear, jewelry, home products, candles and terry-cloth beach towels. Wholesale prices range from $16 for a cotton embellished tank to $124 for cashmere sweaters to $425 for a rhinestone tunic.

Neither Wang nor Tory Burch could be reached for comment, but Tory Burch said in a statement she expects Wang’s “expertise in sales and merchandising will be crucial in establishing our wholesale business, as well as growing our presence in retail.”

This story first appeared in the September 24, 2004 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The company has a flagship at 257 Elizabeth Street in NoLIta here. The collection is also carried exclusively by Bergdorf Goodman and is sold online at toryltd.com and Vivre.com.

Robert Burke, senior vice president of fashion and p.r. at Bergdorf Goodman, said, “We’re doing extremely well with the Tory by TRB line. We had a party last week, and 400 people showed up. Tory’s doing something unique. She’s not following anyone. It’s very fashionable.”

He believes Wang will do well there. “Mary is a very smart merchant and she understands the retailers and the retailers’ needs,” said Burke.

For spring, the Tory by TRB line is expected to be rolled out to major stores, according to Jonny Lichtenstein, director of p.r. at Tory by TRB. Most recently, Lichtenstein was a freelancer and before that was director of p.r., men’s wear for Michael Kors.

Another new hire at Tory by TRB is Stephanie van Watzdorf, who has been named director of design development. Most recently, she was vice president of design at Ann Taylor, and also held design posts at Ralph Lauren and Giorgio Armani.