NEW YORK — Hilary Peck has joined Lela Rose, a New York-based dress firm popular with socialites on both coasts, as president.

This story first appeared in the January 30, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

With Peck’s fashion and luxury marketing experience, she seems a good fit for Lela Rose, which lists Ann Getty, Celerie Kemble, Lourdes Fanjul, Samantha Boardman and Heather Harris among its clients.

Most recently, Peck was chief operating officer and vice president of marketing at Language, a popular downtown New York destination for designer shoppers. In her new role, she reports to Lela Rose, the Dallas native who is designer and chairman.

While Bergdorf Goodman carries the collection and held a sold-out trunk show last fall, Peck said she plans to further develop the specialty store business, open leading doors in department stores, venture into the untapped international market and will “add categories that make sense” down the road. Getty and other socialites have helped increase the designer’s exposure by hosting trunk shows.

Known for its mixture of colors, textures and prints reminiscent of the Forties and Fifties, Lela Rose uses “modern proportions in a whimsical way,” Peck said.

The nine-year-old firm will stage its first fashion show Feb. 11 here at the Inn at Irving Place.