Jocelyn Yap, president of Issey Miyake USA, has departed after 13 years and will be succeeded by Yukio Anri Ito, director of the overseas operations department for the Japanese parent Issey Miyake Inc.

This story first appeared in the September 9, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Yap, who joined the firm in 1996 as vice president of sales and marketing and was promoted to president in 2006, stepped down to spend more time with her family, the company said.

“Jocelyn has been a tremendous partner during her time with Issey Miyake, and she has been greatly instrumental in expanding the market reach and recognition of our brands in the U.S. and Canada,” said Nobuyuki Ota, president of Issey Miyake Inc.

Ota credited Yap with building a “solid basis from which the Issey Miyake labels continue to grow and prosper” across the U.S. and lauded her “clear strategic planning with her creative flair for sales and marketing” for steering the company through changes, launches and developments, including the recent economic downturn.

“It really was a difficult decision to make,” Yap said. “Working within the world of Issey Miyake has always been an adventure — fun and challenging — but above all, a great privilege to work in an environment where the design ethos is never compromised for commercial expediency. After some time off with my family, I plan to return to the industry with renewed energy to take on another challenge.”

Ito, whose appointment is effective immediately, will continue to serve as director of the overseas operations department in addition to being president of the U.S. division.

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