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Paul Stuart Bolsters Executive Ranks

The former family-owned business had a very loose operating structure in the past, according to a spokesman.

A Paul Stuart store.

Paul Stuart has created an executive leadership team. The Ivy League-inspired men’s and women’s retailer, which was acquired by its Japanese licensee, Mitsui & Co. Ltd., at the end of 2012, has made a couple of key hires as well as promotions designed to “assure a seamless and strategic extension of the Paul Stuart brand architecture as we pursue a myriad of growth plans and opportunities,” according to Michael Ostrove, president and chief executive officer.

This story first appeared in the July 18, 2013 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The former family-owned business had a very loose operating structure in the past, according to a spokesman.

Ralph Auriemma, longtime designer of the company’s younger-skewed Phineas Cole label, has been named design director and will now oversee all product development for the retailer. Bob Green, a men’s wear veteran who was most recently president of Façonnable USA, has been named chief merchandising officer/general manager/general merchandise manager. Green, who has also served as executive vice president of sales and marketing for both Ermenegildo Zegna Corp. and St. John Knits, will be responsible for all new retail development, store management, staffing and merchandising.

Thomas Mastronardi, president of Thomas Mastronardi and Associates, has been named chief marketing officer. Mastronardi, who spent the past 18 months consulting with the retailer as director of marketing, has also represented clients including Zegna, Canali, Lacoste, Isaia and Robert Talbott. At Paul Stuart, he will oversee all brand architecture, creative development and advertising.

Michio Fujii, who spent more than two decades at Mitsui in Italy and Japan, has been named chief financial officer.

All three executives report to Ostrove.

“The logical extension of our company, within both the domestic and international markets, is made possible by the acquisition of Paul Stuart [last] year by Mitsui Corp. and by establishing a seamless operating structure,” Ostrove said. “We have taken the initial steps in what we are all sure will be a very exciting and profitable future.”

Paul Stuart is currently celebrating its 75th year in business. Mitsui said it plans to expand the company’s presence in the U.S., where it operates stores in New York and Chicago, as well as in Asia, where there are about 100 in-store shops in Japan. The Japanese company is also talking with potential licensees to expand the Paul Stuart range in Japan.