NEW YORK — After weeks of speculation, Kim Vernon has resigned as senior vice president of global advertising and communications at Calvin Klein Inc.
The announcement confirms a WWD report last month.
Vernon will wrap up her 10-year tenure at CKI on Friday, but her employer is not in a rush to find her replacement. During a telephone interview Tuesday, Tom Murry, CKI’s president and chief operating officer, said, “We will take our time to make sure we have the right person. We will look internally and externally. To Kim’s credit, she has put together a great team.”
Vernon declined comment.
Asked if she has accepted a position elsewhere, Murry said, “She has not to the best of my knowledge.”
In a statement, Vernon said, “I am very proud of my contributions at Calvin Klein Inc. and it is very, very hard to leave. The company’s success is at an all-time high and it is the right moment for me to look ahead to a new challenge.”
Vernon handled advertising and public relations for the company, a subsidiary of Phillips-Van Heusen. PVH bought the company in December 2002. In June, Bruce Klatsky stepped down as PVH’s chief executive officer and Mark Weber replaced him.
Vernon oversaw 40 people in CKI’s in-house advertising department, and 20 others in p.r. Murry described her management style as “hands-on” and “tough, but fair.”
“She was always very good at protecting our brand and brand image,” Murry said, whether that was in regard to co-op advertising, media or retail collateral.
In a statement issued Tuesday, Murry said, “Kim has decided not to renew her contract with PVH. It will be a big change for both of us and we will miss each other. However, she has put a great team in place globally that will continue our strategy. As a 10-year veteran of Calvin Klein, she has greatly contributed to our successes of today, including a transition to a public company. Kim has been a true steward of the brand.”
Keeping tabs on Calvin Klein’s edgy advertising, meeting and greeting guests at a Robert Wilson benefit sale in a Chelsea gallery, and helping Calvin Klein underwear model Hilary Swank judge a student design contest at the Hetrick-Martin Institute were among the many tasks Vernon took on.
But there have been some bumps along the way, most recently the delayed start and overheated space at the show of Francisco Costa’s Calvin Klein Collection here last month. The conditions prompted Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour and Patrick McCarthy, chairman and editorial director of WWD parent Fairchild Publications, to leave before the start.
Earlier this week, CKI said it inked a deal with Fingen SpA to produce Calvin Klein Collection and distribute the label’s women’s and men’s apparel and accessories worldwide. That license was previously held by Vestimenta, which has filed for bankruptcy and plans to exit the apparel business.