LONDON — Bally has named Claudia Cividino chief executive officer of the Americas, in what the company describes as a key appointment in a market with big potential.

Cividino will be based in New York and will report to Bally ceo Frédéric de Narp, with the brief of expanding the brand not only in the U.S. but in Canada and Latin America as well.

De Narp told WWD in an interview that Cividino’s appointment marks “the comeback of Bally in America,” and that the region will be a major focus going forward. Bally joins many luxury brands in viewing the U.S. as a primary market for growth, following the slowdown in China, and the weak economies in Russia and Europe.

“In America, you cannot compromise, and I needed the best talent I could find,” said de Narp, adding that he wants to double sales in the region over the next five years.

“With her vast fashion retail experience and proven brand-building expertise, I have no doubt [Cividino] is the best possible person to drive our new strategy in the Americas and help Bally become the leading luxury accessories brand in that market,” he said.

De Narp added that he would like the region to generate more than 20 percent of the brand’s business going forward. It currently represents about 10 percent.

Cividino will oversee the opening of the Bally flagship on Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles — the brand’s largest unit in the world at 7,000 square feet — in October; a store at South Coast Plaza in November, and one in Miami next year.

There are also projects in the pipeline in New York and South America. The new Bally store concept has been designed by the British architect David Chipperfield.

De Narp said he wants to create a “well-balanced footprint” in the region, and elevate the retail experience to the top level.

“My focus will be on rebuilding the business in the Americas and elevating Bally’s profile within this key market,” said Cividino, who was formerly senior vice president at Miu Miu-Prada SpA, responsible for all aspects of the retail and wholesale divisions, including digital, visuals and communications, across North America.

Previously, she worked at Reed Krakoff and Coach, Adam and Yves Saint Laurent in the U.S.

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