ESCADA HIRE: Cynthia Srednicki has been named director of public relations at Escada USA. She succeeds Laura Henson, who left the firm. Most recently, Srednicki was the owner of Vision PR, which represented clients such as Silhouette and Daniel Swarovski Eyewear, which will close at the end of this month. Earlier, she was at Nadine Johnson Inc., and before that, Robert Marc. She reports to Lawrence C. DeParis, chief operating officer of Escada USA.

FACTORING IN ATLANTA: Wells Fargo Century, the largest bank-owned factoring firm in the U.S., opened a regional office in Atlanta to support an expanding client base in the region. Thomas V. Pizzo, president and chief executive officer of the firm, said Stuart Brister joined the company as executive vice president to run the Southeast Region business. Brister formerly worked in the financial services groups of GMAC and Nationsbanc. Wells Fargo Century is a Wells Fargo company with headquarters in New York and offices in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

SURF & TURF: Lafuma SA, the French outdoor apparel firm, and French surfwear maker Oxbow are looking to team up. The sportswear specialists said they were in talks and have suspended trading of their shares on the Paris stock market. The companies said they would issue a statement next week. A deal would be the latest merger in the sector. Last month, Quiksilver bought Rossignol, and earlier this week Germany’s Adidas-Salomon said it would sell its Salomon ski division to Finland’s Amer Sports. Oxbow went public in July 2004, when the company issued 1.4 million new shares, representing 37 percent of its capital.

NEW COLE HAAN VP: Ellen Rodriguez has been named senior vice president of international and licensing for Cole Haan, a new position. She will report to Matt Rubel, chairman and chief executive officer, and also serve on the company’s executive committee. She was most recently corporate vice president of international licensing and strategic planning for Kenneth Cole. Cole Haan, which has 48 stores in the U.S. and Canada, is looking to expand its global presence.

This story first appeared in the May 5, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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