ZANE’S NEW TRADE ROLE: The U.S. Association of Importers of Textiles and Apparel, which counts among its members J.C. Penney and Liz Claiborne Inc., has elected Bob Zane, who is senior vice president of Liz Claiborne, as chairman of the trade and lobbying association. He succeeds Peter McGrath, current chairman of J.C. Penney Purchasing Corp. Zane, who serves as a special adviser to Paul Charron, chairman and chief executive officer of Claiborne, on foreign trade matters and vendor relationships, is no stranger to the realm of global trade. He joined Claiborne in 1995 and has held several posts, including senior vice president, manufacturing, sourcing, distribution and logistics. As USA-ITA’s chairman, Zane will face challenges this year as the Bush administration inches closer to negotiating a multiyear agreement with China to limit textile and apparel imports.
WOLFORD RISES: Luxury hosiery maker Wolford Group reported preliminary first-quarter sales up 1.8 percent to 24.6 million euros, or $30.4 million at current exchange. On a currency-adjusted basis sales rose 2.5 percent. The Bregenz, Austria-based firm’s fiscal year began May 1. Sales increased 8 percent in Germany, the brand’s key market; 3 percent in Austria; 35 percent in Spain; 26 percent in Scandinavia, and 18 percent in eastern European countries in the May-through-July period. Sales declined in the U.S., the U.K., France and the Netherlands, the company said. The company is targeting full-year sales of at least 120 million euros, or $148.3 million.
GINA MANTELLI HIRE: Ellen Zornberg has joined Italian bridge label Gina Mantelli for Otreerre as sales director, based in New York. Zornberg was at Vestimenta where she was director of sales for six years, in charge of sales and distribution. Before that, she worked at Lida Baday as vice president and director of U.S. sales. Zornberg replaces Lina Blecher, who left to pursue other interests. Zornberg reports to Gloria Gelfand, director of operations, who is also head of Gelfand Marketing Solutions.