WWD | JULEE KAPLAN
Poleci is stepping it up a notch.
On Friday, the company said it has named Jean Claude Huon as president of the 15-year-old contemporary firm. Huon joins the brand from Bill Blass Holding Co. Inc., where he was vice president of couture and licensees. Prior to Blass, he was general manager for fashion titles Jalouse and L’Officiel, where he worked to launch the U.S. editions. He has also worked at Pierre Cardin, where he oversaw the brand’s licensing business for 10 years.
In other company news, Poleci plans to show for the first time during New York Fashion Week. The presentation will be held at the brand’s flagship store at 32 Gansevoort St. on Feb. 14 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
In addition, the firm has tapped Robert Burke Associates to serve as a strategic adviser in the development and expansion of the business. Burke will consult on all retail aspects, including merchandising, brand positioning and distribution strategies.
In his new role at Poleci, Huon will work alongside Diane Levin, chief executive officer, and Janice Levin-Krok, creative director, to lead the expansion of the brand both in the U.S. and internationally.
Huon reports to Poleci owner Haresh Tharani, who took ownership of the firm in 2006. Tharani runs Tharanco Group, which also owns Joseph A. and, along with Michael Groveman, sold the Bill Blass ready-to-wear business to NexCen Brands Inc. for $54.6 million in cash and stock. Tharanco was said to be interested at one point in repurchasing the Blass business from NexCen, but the business subsequently was liquidated.