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Bill Blass Couture may be in turmoil, but Bill Blass New York, the in-home direct sales label, is revving up for growth.
This story first appeared in the July 31, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Two years after the direct sales brand was launched, Bill Blass New York has hired Stephanie Wilson, former director of sales at Dolce & Gabbana, as senior vice president of new business development and training.
Wilson is charged with exploring opportunities including e-commerce, international expansion and new product categories for the profitable company, which aims to reach sales of $50 million in the next two years (it declined to disclose current volume).
Wilson also will lead the training for Bill Blass New York’s sales “consultants,” overseeing initiatives for both new sellers and the more than 200 consultants who hold trunk shows for their friends and neighbors to shop.
“Stephanie’s significant experience developing and implementing business strategy for some of the most high-profile and iconic fashion brands will be essential as we look to expand our operations through the addition of new sales consultants and explore additional avenues through which to foster the brand,” said Ann Acierno, chief executive officer of Bill Blass New York.
At Dolce & Gabbana since 2006, Wilson held similar responsibilities for growth and training. Prior to Dolce & Gabbana, she served as vice president of global sales at Karl Lagerfeld LLC, and before that was vice president of sales at Alberta Ferretti. Earlier, she was senior director of ready-to-wear sales at Vera Wang.
Based in New York, Wilson reports to Acierno.
Bill Blass New York, a license of Bill Blass International, differs from Bill Blass Couture, which is owned by the troubled NexCen Brands Inc. and designed — for now — by Peter Som.
Designed by Jose Solis, Bill Blass New York showed its fall line in a fashion show last week during a three-day seminar for the sales consultants held in New York. The fall line, which retails for $425 for a skirt and $995 for an evening gown, starts selling Friday.