REILLY JOINS ECKO: James P. Reilly has joined Marc Ecko Enterprises as chief financial officer. He succeeds Dick Thrush, who was promoted to executive vice president, strategic development, and to whom Reilly reports. Most recently, Reilly was vice president and controller of Tommy Hilfiger Corp., where he worked for 10 years. Prior to that, he spent eight years with Ernst & Young. At Marc Ecko Enterprises, Reilly is responsible for the company’s worldwide finance and accounting functions.

GUCCI GREEN: Gucci Group N.V. said that it will pay 4.24 euros, or $5.52 at current exchange rates, per Gucci share over the next few weeks. Nearly all the 450 million euros, or $585.99 million, of the capital payout will go into PPR’s coffers, since PPR owns more than 99.4 percent of Gucci. A PPR spokeswoman said the payout, which was approved by shareholders last December, is part of PPR’s longstanding policy to optimize cash management by having subsidiaries with excess cash transfer it to the group level. Gucci said it will pay Dutch shareholders on Feb. 28 and will shortly thereafter make payments to U.S. shareholders in dollars. Gucci’s minority shareholders hold approximately 0.6 percent of the company’s capital.

BARNOWSKE MOVES UP: Robert Barnowske has been promoted to the post of vice president of design at Vera Wang. A nine-year company veteran, he was most recently design director. Barnowske reports to Vera Wang, chief executive officer and president.

GEOX EXPANDS: Italian-based footwear company Geox USA is expanding its presence in New York with a bi-level, 6,300-square-foot flagship at 575 Madison Avenue, at 57th Street. The company expects to move into its new space, which is a former Bank of New York branch, within six months. Geox also operates stores in suburban Long Island and New Jersey.

NYLON RISING: Citing the high costs of raw materials, energy and transportation, Honeywell Nylon will increase the price of all its nylon textile products by 5 percent to 10 percent, effective March 14. Based in Charlotte, N.C., and with facilities in the U.S., Canada and China, the firm produces nylon fibers used in activewear.

This story first appeared in the February 17, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.