RECOGNITION FOR VENDORS: Lillian Kurtz, national accounts manager for Vanity Fair Mills, has received the first partnership award from Mervyn’s for achievement in retail support.

The award also recognizes individuals for maintaining and developing Mervyn’s overall business, including distribution, replenishment, advertising and merchandising support.

A 20-year veteran of the innerwear industry, Kurtz joined Vanity Fair Mills in 1983 and has been national accounts manager for both the Vanity Fair brands and private label since August 1993.

Meanwhile, Alba-Waldensian was presented with The Quality Supplier of the Year award by the women’s division of J.C. Penney Co.

Awards were presented to one supplier in each of the Penney company’s four divisions by Penney executives Tom Hutchens, executive vice president and director of merchandising, and Barger Tygart, senior executive vice president and director of merchandising and support operations. Alba supplies private label bras, panties and hosiery to Penney’s.

Thomas Schuster, Alba’s president and chief executive officer, accepted the award for the Valdese, N.C.-based firm.

GLOBAL ISSUES: Donald Franceschini, executive vice president and a director of Sara Lee Corp., will address the issue of moving multibrands into global waters at a Fashion Group International luncheon on May 6. Franceschini oversees all the personal products divisions of Sara Lee, which include innerwear under the Playtex, Bali and Hanes Her way labels, Champion activewear, Coach Leatherware, and Aris Isotoner gloves and slippers. The event will take place at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York from noon to 2 p.m. Other scheduled speakers include Joyce Roche, vice president of global marketing for Avon Products; Grady Means, managing director of Coopers & Lybrand, and Goran Carstedt, president of Ikea, North America.

KIM’S NEW TEAM: By Kimberly, a year-old maker of full-figure sports bras, has named executives to three new posts.

Eduardo Villar has been named director of operations. He will be responsible for all aspects of production and new product development. He was most recently a product manager at Authentic Fitness.

Fleda Cunningham has been named key accounts sales manager, and Julie Collins has been named national merchandiser. Cunningham will be responsible for all major department and specialty store business. She was a sales representative for the firm.

Collins will travel to stores around the country and merchandise product on the selling floor, train salespersons and conduct fit seminars. She was a sales representative and merchandiser for Lou Lingerie for a year.

Villar, Cunningham and Collins report to Kimberly Mattson, president.

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