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Karen Castellano Moves to NYDJ

Former Tracy Reese CEO to lead sales and planning.

Karen Castellano, former chief executive officer of Tracy Reese’s T.R. Designs firm, has joined NYDJ Apparel LLC as executive vice president of sales and planning.

This story first appeared in the January 30, 2014 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The appointment is the first by Robert C. Skinner Jr. since his appointment as president and ceo of NYDJ two weeks ago upon the completion of Crestview Partners’ acquisition of the Vernon, Calif.-based denim firm. It fills a vacancy created by the appointment in December of Leslie Singer as president of the Sam Edelman division of Kellwood Co.

Castellano will be based at NYDJ’s offices in New York and report to Skinner.

She joined T.R. Designs two years ago as ceo in 2012 after serving as vice president of wholesale for men’s and children’s wear at Burberry. After beginning her career at Bloomingdale’s, she spent 19 years at Liz Claiborne Inc., now known as Fifth & Pacific Cos. Inc. and to be renamed Kate Spade & Co. next month. Her most recent post at Claiborne was a seven-year tenure as president of Claiborne Sportswear and men’s midtier brands.

“Karen is a dynamic leader with a proven record of success in building teams, guiding businesses and achieving meaningful sales results,” Skinner said. “Karen will play a critical role in continuing NYDJ’s impressive growth trajectory and unlocking the potential of this incredible brand.”

Crestview teamed with Maybrook Capital Partners to acquire NYDJ from Falconhead Capital LLC and the founder Rudes-Sandel family earlier this month. Mackey McDonald, a senior adviser to Crestview and the retired ceo of VF Corp., serves as chairman.

The company, best known for its Lift Tuck Technology said to make a woman look a size smaller, was founded as Not Your Daughter’s Jeans in 2003 and re-branded as NYDJ during the five-year tenure of Edwin Lewis as chairman and ceo, which corresponded to Falconhead’s ownership of the brand. The brand added tops and sportswear last year, when sales were reported to be in excess of $200 million.