NEW YORK — Brooks Brothers is bolstering its management team by adding industry veteran Paulette Garafolo in the newly created position of president of international, wholesale and manufacturing.
Garafolo, currently chief executive officer of Bally North America, will start her new job at the retailer next month.
Before joining Bally a year ago, Garafolo spent 11 years at Hartmarx Luxury Group, first as ceo and group president of Hickey Freeman and Bobby Jones, and then the entire group, which included Hart Schaffner Marx.
“We like her very much,” said Brooks Brothers ceo Claudio Del Vecchio. “We can’t wait for her to come on board.” He pointed to her background at Hartmarx, including its manufacturing facilities, as key to the hire. “We plan to leverage her experience.”
He noted that her role at Brooks “is crucial to our overall development.”
Garafolo said she wasn’t looking to change jobs, but Del Vecchio convinced her to make the switch.
“Claudio and I have been colleagues in the same industry for a number of years,” she said. “We’ve shared information and have a lot of common ground. He told me he was thinking of restructuring and looking for someone to oversee the areas he wanted to expand. And they happen to be my expertise.”
She called Brooks “a solid company that I admire and respect. It’s such an incredible brand and to be part of the management team is a great opportunity.”
She added she was not expecting to leave Bally, calling her impending departure “bittersweet, but this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. If it wasn’t Brooks Brothers, I wouldn’t have considered it.”