Derek Lam Taps New President for Collection

Laura Stephen has joined the brand from Giorgio Armani.

NEW YORK — Derek Lam International LLC named Laura Stephen president of Derek Lam Collection.

This story first appeared in the October 28, 2011 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Most recently, Stephen was vice president of sales at Giorgio Armani, and before that, worked in sales and merchandising roles at such fashion houses as Chanel, Fendi, Prada and Helmut Lang. She started her career as a buyer for Barneys New York.

“Laura has great expertise in sales and merchandising of both ready-to-wear and accessories,” chief executive officer Jan-Hendrik Schlottmann said. “That professional experience paired with our excellent team will bring the business to the next level.”

At Derek Lam, she is being charged with building the designer collection business, which includes apparel as well as accessories, globally.

“Since the end of the recession, our collection business has seen significant growth, most importantly in the U.S. market but also overseas,” Schlottmann said. “Ready-to-wear and shoes and bags are all classifications of equal importance at Derek Lam and that’s a lot of work if you consider that we do everything in-house.”

Stephen, who will report to Schlottmann, succeeded Jeanine Elias, who had been with the company for eight years and played an instrumental role in the company’s growth. Elias left the company recently to spend more time with her family.

DLI separately markets the 10 Crosby Derek Lam secondary label, which will launch at retail in November.