Chieh Tsai, the Lands’ End designer most responsible for getting the brand’s signature look back on track, has been promoted to chief product officer, overseeing all design, merchandising, and global sourcing activities.
“Chieh has been working for us for a couple of years. All of her designs and ideas have helped give us six consecutive quarters of positive sales results,” Jerome Griffith, president and chief executive officer of Lands’ End, told WWD. Tsai, who was senior vice president of design, reports to Griffith.
Griffith said her designs have resonated with Lands’ End customers and that she’s “championed” the Americana heritage of the brand and its emphasis on comfort. She demonstrates “a good split between left and right sides of the brain. She understands the business side of design and has been an integral part of the success of the company.”
Griffith said that as chief product officer, Tsai assumes a new role at the company. Giving Tsai wider responsibilities “makes us a lot more streamlined. We really have quite a good team atmosphere here but we had product organized in silos,” Griffith said.
Tsai joined Lands’ End in May 2016 as designer for women’s and six months later became head designer. Earlier in her career, she worked at Ann Taylor, and before that she was the design director for CK/Calvin Klein where she helped relaunch the label. She also served as senior designer of Nine West, leading the launch of their sportswear collections.
Tsai has over 18 years of fashion design experience and involvement in fabrics, fits, colors and silhouettes, design direction and sourcing. She also has experience developing apparel brands and managing cross functional teams.
Griffith said he doesn’t contemplate any additional major management changes but added that there could be some internal “rejiggering but nothing major” due to Tsai’s promotion.
“Two or three years ago, the company was getting off track. Chieh has really been instrumental bringing it back on track with the right product,” Griffith said.
The $1.4 billion, Dodgeville, Wis.-based Lands’ End has been in turnaround mode and seeks to become a $2 billion company with earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) in the high single digits and with 40 to 60 stores operating, all by 2022.
In another executive change, Lands’ End named Rosalind Drisko as vice president, public relations and brand marketing reporting to senior vice president of brand creative, Matt Trainor. Drisko was most recently at VF Corp.’s Nautica brand as vice president of global marketing where she led marketing and creative services. Drisko will lead the public relations, social media and brand marketing teams.