Fashion in the Family: Oscar Names Alex Bolen Company’s New Chief

Oscar de la Renta is handing over the chief executive title to his son-in-law, Alex Bolen, to allow the designer more time in the design studio.

In his new role, Bolen oversees 72 employees in the New York office. He said he may add additional posts as the business increases. For now, he is focused on empowering existing employees, provided they are up for the task. Bolen praised Barnett for assembling “an extremely strong team.”

“I really like to find very smart people — which there are many of here — and give them as much responsibility as they want to take,” he said.

Well aware of the tremendous consolidation that has occurred in the luxury business in the last 10 years, Bolen said there are no immediate plans for a buyout or acquisitions. He said he and his predecessor agree there is “a tremendous amount we can do on our own at this point.” But that doesn’t mean something might not make sense down the road.

“I don’t have anything on my mind, but that doesn’t mean something we need to acquire won’t come along tomorrow,” Bolen said.

De la Renta insisted he didn’t promote a yes-man. “We don’t always agree on everything. But it’s important to have someone who challenges you at every step.”
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