Michael Delaney, group president and executive director of the apparel group at LF USA, a subsidiary of Li & Fung Ltd., is retiring.
This story first appeared in the June 30, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Delaney helped build LF USA’s apparel and home group into a $1 billion business. Rick Darling, president of LF USA, confirmed Delaney’s retirement after seven years with the firm and said a successor hasn’t been named yet. He said he expects there will be some changes as a result of his leaving.
Darling explained this was part of the succession planning process “and we were working on it for some time, and the timing was right.” Delaney, who declined comment, will continue with LF USA in a consulting capacity.
Delaney was named group president of LF USA in 2008, and became a member of LF USA’s executive board and executive director in 2010. He joined the firm in 2004 when he sold Ralsey Group Ltd., a knitwear company he and his wife Jamie founded, to Li & Fung. Ralsey, which at the time was generating less than $100 million in sales, manufactured and marketed private label and branded knitwear and sportswear. The acquisition of Ralsey, whose lines included Ralsey, RGL New York, Rocket Girl, Rocket 898 and R898, was expected to strengthen Li & Fung’s design and merchandising capabilities and serve as a springboard into higher-margin businesses.
LF USA’s expanding list of apparel labels includes Ellen Tracy, Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony, Rachel Zoe and House of Deréon. LF USA also produces Sean John’s men’s sportswear exclusively for Macy’s. LF USA’s recent acquisitions include Oxford Apparel Group, Cipriani Accessories and its affiliate the Max Leather Group, and Jimlar Corp., which owns the Frye trademark and produces shoes for Coach and Calvin Klein. Last week, it was reported that LF USA and Skechers USA Inc. signed a licensing deal to produce men’s and women’s apparel and accessories under the Shape-ups, Tone-ups and Sketchers Resistance brands. LF USA’s home businesses include Royal Velvet and Cannon.