Karen Watkins has been named executive vice president of Christian Dior Inc., effective May 4.

This story first appeared in the April 13, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Watkins will be responsible for all of the company’s U.S. retail operations, and will report to Christian Dior Inc. president Pamela Baxter. Watkins was most recently senior vice president of stores, Western Region, for Louis Vuitton North America. Before that, she worked at Saks Fifth Avenue, Joan & David Helpern Inc. and Bally of Switzerland. She replaces Augustin de Buffevent.

At Vuitton, Watkins will be succeeded by Charles Delapalme, who is the firm’s country manager, Canada & Bermuda. With the promotion, he will now be in charge of 28 stores in California, Washington and Oregon, handling store operations.

Delapalme will continue to report to Daniel Lalonde, president and chief executive officer of Louis Vuitton North America, and be a member of the company’s executive management team. He joined Vuitton from McKinsey & Co., where he was a project director, in 2005.

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