THE SAK BEEFING UP EXEC RANKS

Byline: Wendy Hessen

NEW YORK — With its moderately priced handbags sold in over 3,000 department store doors nationwide, The Sak has become a key resource for many stores. But co-founder Mark Talucci thinks the company is just getting started.
“We’ve had a lot of success with our products, but to dominate we need to re-engineer the brand and develop a more comprehensive image, with more directional products beyond our core Tightweave,” said Talucci, referring to the firm’s trademarked woven nylon fabric that has been used in everything from handbags to home accessories.
Talucci, who is also chief executive officer of the 11-year-old San Francisco accessories firm, added, “We’re a $50 million company, but we have high ambitions, and realize we can’t get to the next level without elevating our image and becoming more important in the world of fashion.”
So The Sak is beefing up its management and looking to global opportunities.
On March 27, Leslie Meyer was named to the new post of director of international sales and licensing. She will develop and manageg international sales and distribution and reports to Lisa Nunziata, vice president of worldwide sales. Meyer had been worldwide sales manager for the watch division of Gucci. She is based in San Francisco.
Talucci said Meyer combined “a keen understanding of the international market with a proven track record.” Unlike in the past, when The Sak chose to produce expanded product categories in house, he said licensing would be a part of the company’s strategic plans.
On April 24, Gabriel Gima joined The Sak as vice president of marketing, also based in San Francisco. Though he technically replaced Terri Rawson, who left the firm last August for a similar post at Keds, Talucci said Gima will have broader responsibilities, overseeing marketing, creative services, merchandising and public relations. He will be involved with developing The Sak’s new creative direction and spring 2001 advertising campaign.
Gima, who was most recently director of public relations and advertising for BCBG Max Azria, will also participate in product development, international and direct-to-consumer marketing, and report directly to Talucci.
“Our brand is strongly tied to product now, but we haven’t completely defined our image. Gabe will be involved in charting how we evolve into a more confident, innovative brand, rather than the relaxed and attainable one that we are now.”