Josia Lamberto-Egan

On the heels of winning Swarovski's Perry Ellis Award for Menswear, Trovata said Thursday that it is losing one founding member of its four-person design team.

NEW YORK — On the heels of winning Swarovski’s Perry Ellis Award for Menswear, Trovata said Thursday that it is losing one founding member of its four-person design team. Josia Lamberto-Egan will be leaving his daily duties as product director at the contemporary brand in about two weeks.

The basis for his decision involves love and logistics: Lam­berto-Egan plans to move to Seattle to continue his 12-year relationship with partner Maria Matijasevic, a physician who will be completing her residency at the Swedish Medical Center there.

“I’m walking away from the drudgery part of my job,” said Lamberto-Egan of his production duties, which often involved working directly with factories and managing delivery schedules. “Our goal is for me to be involved in the stuff that I enjoy being a part of and where I’ll have the most value added.”

Lamberto-Egan said he will continue to be a shareholder in Trovata and have a hand in the overall business and creative strategies of the brand. He will also continue to contribute to the crafty marketing materials. “It’ll be fun to have more time to spend on those things,” he said.

The four-year-old Newport Beach, Calif., men’s and women’s label that includes Jeff Halmos, John Whitledge and Sam Shipley has been the recent darling of retailers and industry awards alike. In addition to its latest win at the 2006 CFDA Fashion Awards on Monday night, the brand was a recipient of both the Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation grant and the CFDA/ Vogue Fashion Fund prize last year.

Although the team already knew on Monday evening that Lamberto-Egan was leaving, they decided to share the news with only a select few, including mentors from the CFDA as well as others who were instrumental in the nomination. “It was a delicate situation, so we didn’t want to make the news completely public. We figured since I was still working for the company, there was no sense in jumping the gun,” Lamberto-Egan explained.

Halmos, who handles sales and press for the label known for its casual, preppie looks, said the company has made three hires in the last two months and that Lamberto-Egan has been training some of the new staff to take over duties for him. “We’re going to miss him, but the bottom line is it’s life and that’s how it goes,” said Halmo. “We knew this was a possibility and we’ve been preparing for this.”

This story first appeared in the June 9, 2006 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Halmos said the company sought to add one more production person, but was not looking to hire a senior production director from a large company to replace Lamberto-Egan. “We already have some very capable people here,” he said.

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