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What to Watch: New Directions for Calvin, Ralph, Donna and Tommy

America ’s big megabrands are at a crossroads, as a once novel approach to big and dynamic expansion has matured to the point that the major players are pursuing new strategies to secure their futures.<br><br>Phillips-Van Heusen is looking to...

America ’s big megabrands are at a crossroads, as a once novel approach to big and dynamic expansion has matured to the point that the major players are pursuing new strategies to secure their futures.

Phillips-Van Heusen is looking to capitalize quick- ly on its new investment — the $430 million pur- chase of Calvin Klein Inc.in December.While Bruce Klatsky,chairman and chief executive officer of PVH,said he ’ll remain hands-off on the esigner business,he also said he wants to have a new part- nership lined up in the first quarter to evelop a women ’s better-priced sportswear collection, while a men ’s line will be developed in-house.

LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton is working to improve the position of the Donna Karan franchise. Since Fred Wilson joined as ceo in September,he restructured the company by brand,rather than divi- sion,and added several top industry players to his team,including Melissa Parker-Lilly as president of collection,Mary Wang as president of DKNY and Carol Sharpe as president of retail.

While Tommy Hilfiger is on an executive recruit- ment search of his own,looking for a new ceo,that hasn ’t slowed down his efforts to redevelop a design- er-priced collection called H.He hasn ’t commented publicly on the launch,but sources said the designer plans to show the women ’s looks along with his men ’s collection during the February edition of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.

And what will Ralph Lauren o to top all the 35th anniversary hoopla?Look for big developments with the esigner ’s Blue Label,Lauren ’s new bridge line that targets women who want quality,everyday apparel and that is intended to become the back- bone of the company ’s vertical retail strategy.