Kellwood Co., announced Wednesday that Jill Granoff, CEO of Kellwood, will assume the additional responsibility of CEO of Vince. Granoff will oversee the strategic growth and direction of the Los Angeles-based contemporary brand. Granoff has also named Doo-Ri Chung creative director of Vince.
The moves came after Vince cofounders Rea Laccone, CEO, and Christopher LaPolice, president, resigned. After selling the company to Kellwood in 2006, Laccone and LaPolice had planned on staying on for five years. They stayed seven. "They stayed and worked on the transition. This has been carefully orchestrated," said Granoff.
Granoff was hired by Sun Capital Partners to be the CEO of Kellwood "was to accelerate the growth of Vince and unleash its potential as a global lifestyle brand." WWD reports there has been rumors Sun may do an initial public offering for Vince. Granoff has declined to comment. Kellwood is exploring an IPO with Goldman Sachs, or sale of Vince, but it hasn't been confirmed if investment bank has been officially hired to put together an offering.
"I've been involved in overseeing [Vince] since Day One," said Granoff, who joined Kellwood last May after having been CEO of Kenneth Cole Productions Inc.
Chung has the right design sensibility to help grow the Vince business. "She's very well known for her design and technical aesthetic. She has a modern design aesthetic and a real understanding of our customer," said Granoff.
"I've long admired the [Vince] brand because of its loyal customer following and its modern design sensibility," said Chung, who was unavailable for further comment.