NEW YORK — Generra has found its new creative voice — Pina Ferlisi.

The contemporary brand has tapped Ferlisi as its next creative director. She replaces Tony Melillo, who left the company earlier this month. Ferlisi, 39, will officially start on Monday. The first collection under her helm will be spring 2007.

Ferlisi will oversee the entire design effort for Generra, the Eighties brand that was relaunched at the contemporary level two years ago.

“Tony had been speaking to Dan [Shamdasani, chief executive officer of Public Clothing Co., Generra’s holding company] for a while about making a move, so Dan and I, knowing that there was that possibility, have been looking around,” said Stacey DiPersia, Generra’s president. “Pina’s sensibility is very much in sync with the Generra concept.”

Ferlisi was most recently senior vice president of Gap’s adult product development and design. She left that company in October after the brand had several disappointing seasons of financial results. Before Gap, she was a designer at Theory, and prior to that, creative director at Marc by Marc Jacobs, where she was the designer behind the 2000 launch.

DiPersia said Ferlisi’s experience at Marc Jacobs at the designer level and at Gap at the mainstream end gave her an edge. “She is very well rounded in terms of her experience, and she understands the customer. I feel she will be able to create product that will broaden the brand’s appeal and range. We have all the resources to be able to make that happen. I anticipate the transition will be very smooth.”

Generra is sold at upscale specialty stores such as Barneys New York, Scoop, Intermix, Ron Herman, Colette in Paris and Matches in London. It also is available at Bloomingdale’s on Lexington Avenue. DiPersia said there are no plans to alter the distribution strategy, but noted, “We are going into a direction of having a broader range of fabrics and price points.”

Ferlisi, who will report to DiPersia, had been mulling her next step since departing Gap. “I started thinking about what I wanted to do next, and that’s how this became very interesting to me,” Ferlisi said. “I relate to Generra in terms of its brand positioning. The Generra customer has a grasp of her own personal style, and it’s about understated chic to me, which I relate to.”

This story first appeared in the March 17, 2006 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

She added there is a need for a design point of view in the contemporary area that addresses the customer “in terms of a whole lifestyle in a very real way where girls can dress every day.” She added she would like to bring her personal sensibility to the collection.

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