NEW YORK — Barneys New York, continuing to aggressively rebuild its ranks, has hired a key designer buyer away from competitor Bergdorf Goodman.

This story first appeared in the February 16, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Jennifer Sun Woo, Bergdorf’s divisional merchandise manager, left the store about a week ago to join Barneys. She succeeds Steven Ho, who left Barneys earlier this year and covered several key labels including Balenciaga and Lanvin.

There was no comment Tuesday from either Barneys or Bergdorf’s about the change, but Bergdorf’s is expected to disclose changes involving appointments soon.

Barneys’ new chief executive officer Mark Lee has been recasting the retailer’s team. He hired Dennis Freedman as creative director to succeed longtime creative director Simon Doonan, who has become creative ambassador at large; Daniella Vitale, chief merchant and executive vice president overseeing all women’s and, succeeding Judy Collinson, and Amanda Brooks, fashion director, succeeding Julie Gilhart.

A Barneys spokeswoman said Sun Woo will become senior vice president and divisional merchandise manager of women’s designer, joining on Feb. 22. Shje will report to Vitale.

Sun Woo isn’t the only executive to depart Bergdorf’s recently. Also this week, the store’s vice president and divisional merchandise manager of shoes, Sally Ross, became executive vice president of merchandising for Nine West Direct. Margaret Spanolo, Bergdorf’s general merchandise manager over men’s, cosmetics, home and children’s, left late last year to join Thom Browne.

Nine West said Ross will lead merchandise initiatives for Nine West Retail, Nine West Outlet and, and will report to Ron Offir, president, Jones Direct Group.

“Sally’s breadth of experience in the industry is an important addition to Jones’ expanding merchant talent,” said Richard Dickson, president and ceo of branded businesses at The Jones Group Inc. “Her proven judgment, aptitude in managing and growing businesses and ability to identify future fashion trends will be essential in positioning Nine West’s role as the premier destination of fashion footwear for our target consumers.”

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