NEW YORK — Judith Leiber has appointed Jana Matheson creative director.

This story first appeared in the July 12, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Matheson joined the company in a consultant capacity in September, but in her new role, she will have a hand in every aspect in the creative direction of the brand — including ad campaigns, developing strategy for new categories, e-commerce and licensed product extensions spanning eyewear, jewelry and fragrance.

“It’s a continuation of my vision to reinvent and reposition the brand. It’s such a unique brand — it’s so hard to find someone that can just step in and understand it,” said Judith Leiber’s president Mary Gleason. “The thing that I love most about Jana is that she came in and studied the heritage of the brand, studied what Mrs. Leiber had done so well.”

Gleason said that Matheson’s first collection for spring 2011, as well the upcoming pre-fall and fall collections, are a nod to the brand’s heritage, taking what Leiber has done and making it a little more modern and relevant for today’s woman.

“[Jana’s work] is really a reflection of her moving the brand into the next decades. I can see us being around for another 50 years,” Gleason said.

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