Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. and John Varvatos are playing musical chairs.
A day after Varvatos revealed that it had named Mark Brashear — formerly president of men’s at Kors — chief executive officer, the brand revealed that it has rehired Don Witkowski as its new president of men’s. Witkowski has spent the last five years at Varvatos as vice president of merchandising.
His appointment at Kors is effective Jan. 4. He reports to John D. Idol, the company’s chairman and ceo. Prior to Varvatos, he had stints at Donna Karan, Nautica, Miss Sixty and Barneys. He was also at Michael Kors as president of men’s wear from May 2003 until August 2005.
Idol said, “Don has been in the men’s apparel business for over 25 years and comes to us with a wealth of knowledge, expertise and strong relationships in this space.” He said Witkowski will help the firm grow men’s into its next stage of growth, noting that the company is “committed to developing this sector and feel that Don will seamlessly drive it forward.”
Witkowski said, “It’s an exciting time for the brand, and for the Michael Kors men’s wear business in particular. They have laid the foundation for what promises to be strong growth in an area with enormous potential.”
When the company posted second-quarter results in early November, Idol told Wall Street analysts in a conference call that the company was “encouraged by the early growth rates and acceptance of our [men’s] product as we begins to build a world class men’s brand.”
Idol said the men’s collection was initially introduced to retail with the opening of its SoHo flagship store nearly a year ago. The company will open three additional men’s locations: Scottsdale’s Fashion Square in Arizona, Garden State Plaza in Paramus, N.J., and the San Francisco Center in California. In fiscal year 2016, it will open 10 men’s retail locations. Idol has said in the past that the business has the potential for as many as 500 men’s locations worldwide.
Further, Idol has told Wall Street analysts that its men’s business is a $1 billion global opportunity for the firm.