Destination Maternity found a seasoned merchant in Emilia Fabricant, its new president, but also something it didn’t expect to find — someone with extensive experience in the maternity arena.

This story first appeared in the May 25, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Fabricant, who began her new role on Monday, reports to Ed Krell, chief executive officer of Destination Maternity. She is responsible for merchandising, marketing, visual, sourcing and branding.

Fabricant, who was previously president and chief merchandising officer of Charlotte Russe, fills a void left by the retirement of Destination founder Rebecca Matthias.

Charlotte Russe in October was bought by Advent International Corp., a venture capital firm. Jenny Ming, who was hired by Advent as president and ceo, temporarily became chief merchant after Fabricant resigned on Oct. 5.

Fabricant spent 10 years at Barneys New York, from 1990 to 2000, rising to senior vice president and divisional merchandise manager. During her tenure at Barneys, she created a maternity line for the Co-Op called Procreation. Fabricant in 2001 founded and served as ceo of Cadeau Maternity, a wholesaler and retailer of luxury-priced maternity clothing. Babystyle, a retailer of baby and maternity products, acquired Cadeau in May 2007 and named Fabricant president. She worked at Babystyle until 2008, when she joined Charlotte Russe.

In connection with Fabricant’s appointment, Matthias, president and chief creative officer, agreed to relinquish the title of president. As announced, Matthias will transition to part time on June 15 and retire on Sept. 30. She’ll continue as chief creative officer and a director of the company until Sept. 30.

“We did the search with no expectation of finding someone who had any experience in maternity — much less an overwhelming passion for it,” said Gene Manheim, managing director at Herbert Mines Assoc., who led the search. “We liked the fact that [Fabricant] understood different price points and different types of businesses because we have many different businesses, including A Pea in the Pod and Motherhood Maternity,” said Matthias.

The company is rolling out Destination Maternity, where all of its retail concepts are combined into one large store, and opening units in India and the Middle East. “We’re looking to go beyond that,” she said.

Matthias is also planning to write a murder mystery novel. “It may intersect with the retail industry,” she said. “That’s something I know about.”

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