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Christa Michalaros as new President of DKNY Jeans
Oct '11
Donna Karan International (DKI) announced that it will reclaim the license for the DKNY Jeans and DKNY Active businesses from Liz Claiborne Inc. in the U.S., Canada and Mexico effective January 3, 2012, one year ahead of the scheduled end of the agreement.

Mark Weber, chief executive officer of LVMH Inc. in North America and chairman and CEO of DKI said, “The Jeans business is strategically important to the DKI Group and will remain a major component of our ready-to-wear structure. While many men wear suits and many women wear dresses, everyone wears jeans.

Accordingly, we see this business as critical to our strategic direction and vision – offering us the ability to establish close connections with large segments of customers across extensive department store distribution networks. We are thrilled that this opportunity presented itself.”

DKI also announced that Christa Michalaros, currently group president of Perry Ellis International Womenswear responsible for the Rafaella, C&C and Laundry lines, will join DKI to become president of DKNY Jeans. Ms. Michalaros will assume her new position on November 7, 2011, reporting to Mr. Weber.

“I am especially pleased to welcome Christa Michalaros, whose leadership and talent will help us build DKNY Jeans into our third strong in-house brand. With both the Donna Karan New York and DKNY businesses performing very well, and a strong infrastructure underpinning our operations, we are well positioned to capitalize on the full potential of DKNY Jeans, working closely with our valued store partners,” Mr. Weber said.

Ms. Michalaros said, “The DKNY Jeans business has tremendous potential. I look forward to working with Mark and the team at DKI, as well as the talented design and operations staffs who will be joining DKI from Liz Claiborne, to help this business reach new levels of growth, with a modern take on their core brand positioning of delivering the spirit of New York coupled with the DKNY attitude.”

The companies expect a seamless transition of the business. DKNY Jeans and DKNY Active have been under license to Liz Claiborne since 1997. DKI intends to retain the entirety of the DKNY Jeans and Active teams.

DKNY Jeans current season, Holiday 2011, will be the last under the Liz Claiborne Inc. license. Liz Claiborne Inc. will be responsible for finalizing all obligations with its retail partners. Spring and Summer 2012 obligations will be assumed by DKI.

Ms. Michalaros has had a long and successful career in the women's apparel industry. Before assuming her current roles in 2011, she served for five years as Chief Executive Officer and a Director of Rafaella. Ms. Michalaros also served as the president of the Tommy Hilfiger Womenswear division from 1999 to 2005. She began her career at Liz Claiborne in 1981, where she served in many positions of increasing responsibility, including as President of Liz Claiborne Casual.

Donna Karan International is one of the world's leading fashion design houses. It designs, markets and distributes collections of women's apparel, sportswear, accessories and shoes under the Donna Karan New York and DKNY brand names.

The Company has selectively granted licenses for the manufacture and distribution of beauty and beauty related products, jeanswear, menswear and furnishings, hosiery, intimate apparel, coats, children's apparel, watches, eyewear and home. Since November 2001, Donna Karan International is part of LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the world's leading luxury goods group.

Donna Karan International (DKI)

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