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Leading talent to ramp up Jones' Handbag business
Sep '10
Jones Apparel Group, Inc. announced that it has enhanced its talent within its handbag business with the addition of Dina Battipaglia as Group President and Rafe Totengco as Creative Director, both effective immediately.

Ms. Battipaglia and Mr. Totengco will focus on building a cohesive handbag strategy for all of Jones' brands through established business leadership and product design. Ms. Battipaglia will report to Andy Cohen, Chief Executive Officer of Footwear Accessories and Retail for Jones, and Mr. Totengco will report to Battipaglia.

"We are thrilled to welcome Dina and Rafe to the Jones family of talent," said Richard Dickson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Branded Businesses at Jones Apparel Group. "An important element of our mission is to nurture and attract design and merchant talent to help drive our multi-category multi-branded business. Dina's proven merchant savvy and Rafe's gift for world class design, combined with Jones' resources and brands will take our handbag business to new heights."

As Group President for Handbags, Ms. Battipaglia will oversee the day-to-day operations of handbags and drive the handbag business across all brands, from product development to sales. Ms. Battipaglia brings over 20 years of success as a merchant in the accessories industry to the Company. Most recently, Ms. Battipaglia was at Henri Bendel, overseeing the building and development of the Henri Bendel signature brand. Previously, Ms. Battapalia was a senior executive at Liz Claiborne, where she was Interim President of kate spade and President of LCI Accessories, whose brands include Juicy Couture, Lucky Brand and Monet. While President of LCI, Ms. Battipaglia was responsible for delivering $370 million in revenue.

In the newly created role of Creative Director for Handbags, Mr. Totengco will work with others across the Company to create a compelling product vision for Jones' handbag brands. His responsibilities will include creating products for the retail, wholesale and international divisions, with an initial focus on the Nine West and Vintage America products.

Mr. Totengco is well-known among the design community and consumers for his namesake handbag collection, "Rafe New York," that was launched in 1997 and today is sold in a wide range of high-end retail locations internationally. He brings a skilled balance of style and function to all of his products and has the ability to blend sophistication and trend with the highest quality of material.

Mr. Totengco has been a member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) since 1998 and has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors since that time, including the "Best Accessories Designer" (ACE) award from the Accessories Council and the "Rising Star" award from Fashion Group International.

Jones Apparel Group Inc

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