By  on January 17, 2008

NEW YORK — Tse design director Tess Giberson is leaving the cashmere company.

The firm said it would not renew her contract, citing the designer's desire to pursue personal interests, including her own line.

Giberson is the latest designer to pass through Tse's heavily revolving door. Narciso Rodriguez, Victor Alfaro, Hussein Chalayan and Richard Chai all tried to put their stamp on the house, with varying results.

"Tess Giberson has been important to the evolution of Tse," Augustine Tse, founder, president and chief executive officer, said in a statement. "We appreciate her contribution to the company over the past two years. We respect Tess' decision to focus on her own line and wish her the best of luck."

Giberson had put her own collection, which launched for spring 2002, on hold when she joined Tse in 2005. She worked at Calvin Klein before going out on her own.

Tse brought in Giberson partly to step up the wovens segment of the collection in order to complement the knitwear for which it is best known. She initially joined to oversee women's wear, but her responsibilities quickly expanded to include Tse men's wear and accessories.

"It was a great experience...but it was time for me to move on," said Giberson, who is expecting her second child next month. "When I closed my own line, I always knew I wanted to return to it, and I felt like this was the right time.

"With my first baby, I went to Tse, with the second one I want to relaunch my collection,'' she added. "Babies bring about good change."

Giberson said she plans to take time to focus on building a strategy for her future company, put together a business plan and meet with potential investors. "My goal is to have a collection for fall 2009," she said. "But I want to do it in a very structured and organized way."

As for Tse, the fall 2008 runway show during New York Fashion Week has been withdrawn. Giberson's final collection for Tse will instead be presented at the company's showroom on Feb. 5. Tse is expected to announce a successor soon."We realize that the strength of Tse lies in supporting and developing talent who continue to contribute to the brand's strengths," Tse said in the statement. "We will continue to seek out new talent and to support the growth of Tse as a leader in knitwear and as a fashion resource."

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