NEW POST AT GFT: Gayle McWilliams-Somers has been named vice president of merchandising and sales for the women’s import division of GFT Apparel Corp., a new post. She will have responsibility for Sahzà, GFT’s own bridge label; other proprietary labels in development, and special projects within the division. She reports to Gaetano Sallorenzo, president of the division.
Most recently, McWilliams-Somers was a consultant to various bridge sportswear firms. Prior to that, she was with Crystal Brands, where she was senior vice president of merchandising and design for the Women’s Apparel Group. Earlier in her career, she was with Carter Hawley Hale Stores — now Broadway Stores — as senior divisional vice president for all women’s apparel.
POLO PLAY: Pat Beh Werblin has been named senior director of special projects at Polo Ralph Lauren Corp., a new post. She reports to Delores Barrett, vice president of public relations.
Werblin was most recently director of communications for Mirabella and headed her own public relations and promotion agency. Earlier, she handled public relations and advertising for Karl Lagerfeld Worldwide. Werblin is succeeded at Mirabella by Lori Rhodes, who continues to own her own PR firm.
BANKING ON FASHION: NatWest Bank presented the first in a series of monthly fashion shows at its redesigned branch at 38th Street and Seventh Avenue last week. NatWest chairman John Tugwell cut the ribbon on the branch’s $2.5 million renovation, and donated $10,000 to the Nina Hyde Center for Cancer Research in Washington.
Designer Inma Medina, who launched her first collection in November, presented her spring and fall collections in a runway show for about 200 guests. Tugwell said the shows are part of NatWest’s community approach to banking that began two years ago with the renovation of its SoHo branch, which regularly sponsors exhibitions of local artists.