Vilebrequin has appointed Brian Lange managing director for North and South America. The position had been vacant since late last year.
Lange will report to Ashish Sen Sarma, chief business officer, and Agnès-Sarah Espinasse, group financial officer of Vilebrequin’s parent. He will be responsible for the Geneva-based company’s wholesale and retail operations in the U.S., which include boutiques on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, Worth Avenue in Palm Beach, Fla., and two stores in New York — on Madison Avenue and West Broadway in SoHo — as well as major specialty stores including Barneys New York, Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue. He also will oversee retail franchises in Canada, Brazil, Mexico, the Caribbean and throughout South America. The company relaunched its vilebrequinonlinestore.com e-shop last year.
Sen Sarma said Lange’s “deep understanding of the luxury consumer will definitely be a solid asset to our team.”
Lange was most recently the owner of Darien, Conn.-based residential and real estate development firm Phase II Design Inc., which specialized in luxury properties. Earlier, he served as vice president of retail development and marketing at Cartier USA, where he held various executive posts for 21 years in the retail, wholesale, marketing and duty free areas.
Asked about plans for the Vilebrequin brand, Lange said: “The brand is better known for swimwear, which was created in Saint-Tropez in 1971, and since has evolved into a French luxury apparel brand. In 1995, a father-and-son concept was developed. Men’s ready-to-wear has been present for a number of years and we plan to expand into more shirts, sweaters, pants and trousers as well as other areas.” The company also sells sunglasses, which are produced in-house.
Regarding expansion of the 14 Vilebrequin boutiques worldwide, Lange said: “Something is in the works in the short term, and others toward the end of this year and 2012.”