After 11 years at Oxxford Clothes, president Mike Cohen has left the company, reportedly to join competitor Hickey Freeman. Cohen could not be reached for comment at press time Monday and a spokeswoman for Hickey had no comment.
This story first appeared in the November 17, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Individualized Apparel Group, which owns Oxxford, a brand best known for its American-made customer clothing, has elevated Oxxford veteran Scott Ruerup to executive vice president, effective immediately. There are no plans to name another president.
Cohen, who had worked at Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. before joining Oxxford 11 years ago, is said to be taking a job helming the Hickey Freeman brand, the other remaining American high-end suit maker. That post had been vacant since Paulette Garafalo left Hickey’s parent, the HMX Group, this summer after the company was bought out of bankruptcy by Emerisque Brands.
HMX has been staffing up as of late. Last week it named a president of its Bobby Jones brand, and speculation circulated that new chief executive officer Douglas Williams, who had also worked at Polo Ralph Lauren previously, was actively looking for someone to head the company’s iconic tailored clothing businesses.
During his tenure, Cohen ramped up Oxxford’s branding activities, updated fits and styles, launched new product categories including footwear and, most recently, launched a more moderately priced line called 1220.
He leaves the company’s direction to Ruerup, 40, who has been with Oxxford for 15 years, ascending from a regional sales representative to vice president of sales. He will remain in the Chicago office.
“We wish Mike well,” said IAG president Joe Blair, “but we are moving forward and moving in the right direction.”