Brigitte Bogart returns to Bebe Stores Inc. and was named executive vice president of their design and product development division. Bogart will lead the design team in the newly created position and report to Steve Birkhold, Bebe's CEO.
Bogart previously served as Bebe's senior design director from 2001 to 2009 and is credited with creating some of Bebe's best-selling items including the Amanda blouse. Selling more than 100,000 units in one calendar year, the Amanda blouse is one of the all-time biggest sellers for the company.
"When I was brought into the company, Brigitte was already working here as a consultant for about three months. She has an institutional knowledge of Bebe and a great relationship with the brand and with Manny," Birkhold said, referring to Manny Mashouf, the founder and non-executive chairman of Bebe. "It was quickly determined that she has the skill set and pedigree to take the brand to the next level. She will be heading up design and working with me very closely on all creative aspects," including new ad campaigns and new store concepts.
"My strength has always been in understanding the customer and being able to deliver the right product," said Bogart. "This is an exciting opportunity to create and execute a long-term vision for bebe."
Contemporary sportswear, Birkhold noted, "is a pretty competitive space. We have a lot of challenges going forward."
For many years, Bebe has created unique apparel for a loyal customer group. However in recent years, Birkhold acknowledged that Bebe has lost the knack for cutting-edge design. Now, he said, the mission is to both "make sure we are up to speed on current trends and become the brand that sets the trends."