PVH Corp. has reorganized its North American wholesale business, bringing together all of its brands under a newly created underwear group and restructuring its core dress-furnishings and sportswear brands.
The move comes on the heels of the company’s decision earlier this month to close its 120 Izod stores in the U.S. and Canada and the continued strength of its Calvin Klein underwear business.
Effective Feb. 1, Cheryl Abel-Hodges, currently president of Calvin Klein Underwear, will serve as president of the newly formed Underwear Group, a business unit that will include Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Michael Kors, Chaps, Izod, Warner’s and Olga. She will report to Ken Duane, chief executive officer of Heritage Brands and North American Wholesale for PVH.
Reporting to Abel-Hodges will be Les Hall, president of Core Intimates, who will continue to oversee Warner’s and Olga and take on the additional responsibility for managing the women’s wholesale business for Calvin Klein Underwear North America.
In addition, Larry Meltzer, senior vice president of sales and marketing for men’s in North America, will now take on the oversight for Calvin Klein men’s underwear on top of his continued responsibility for the Tommy Hilfiger and Heritage Brands businesses. He will also report to Abel-Hodges.
Duane called the move to integrate all of the underwear together in one group “a no-brainer. We’re fortunate to have a leader like Cheryl, who’s been with us for eight years. When we acquired Warnaco, we put her in to run the Calvin Klein Underwear business, and she’s done a terrific job, so combining that with Hilfiger and the others was a natural. ”
Abel-Hodges added that the creation of the Underwear Group leverages the company’s expertise across “a unified group that is dual gender and North American-centric.”
It also allows the dress-furnishings division to better focus on the dress-shirt and neckwear businesses. Toward that end, the new Dress Furnishings Group will now oversee only those two categories. David Sirkin, previously president of neckwear, will now be president of dress shirts; Molly Yearick, previously president of Izod, will now be president of neckwear, and Geoff Barrett, formerly president of National Brand Sportswear, will now be president of sportswear, overseeing all Heritage Brands sportswear business, including Van Heusen, Izod, Arrow and G.H. Bass. Sirkin, Yearick and Barrett all report to Marc Schneider, group president of Heritage Brands. Meg Lachance, president of Van Heusen Retail, and Ken Wyse, president of licensing, also report to Schneider.
Duane said the catalyst behind the changes in the sportswear area is for the heritage brands to better focus on the North American business. “Today’s PVH and yesterday’s Phillips Van Heusen company was built on the backs of the dress-shirt business and now dress furnishings and neckwear,” he said. “And they’re still important businesses today. In the last two years, we’ve taken out Bass and Izod retail, which were underperforming, to focus on what is performing, which is Izod wholesale, Van Heusen and Arrow.”
He said the neckwear business is “good and solid,” despite some ups and downs, while he was “very enthusiastic” about the dress-shirt market.
The restructuring will result in some layoffs, but the number is small, according to a spokeswoman, and does not include any executives at the president level. She declined to provide the number of people affected.
In September, Mitchell Lechner left his job as president of the dress-furnishings group, which Duane said was unrelated to this reorganization.