Women’s Wear Daily
04.17.2014
fashion-features
fashion-features

Warnaco Names Intimate Execs

Warnaco named two key executive posts in its intimate apparel unit and has embarked on a line of high-tech performance underwear.

fashion-features/news
Martha Olson Helen McCluskey and Barbara Lipton

Martha Olson, Helen McCluskey and Barbara Lipton.

Photo By John Aquino

Most Recent Articles In Fashion Features
Most Recent Articles In Fashion Features
NEW YORK — The Warnaco Group Inc. made two high-level executive appointments Monday in an effort to shore up its $573 million intimate apparel division — and turned again to Liz Claiborne for one of them.

Martha Olson, 49, has been appointed president of the newly formed core brands unit, and former Liz Claiborne executive Barbara Lipton, 47, has been named vice president and general manager of the new fashion brands businesses.

Olson will oversee the branded Olga, Warner’s and Body Nancy Ganz bra and shapewear businesses, and Lipton will head the JLo Lingerie by Jennifer Lopez, Lejaby and newly launched Lejaby Rose foundations, as well as the Fastskin by Speedo underwear businesses.

Both Olson and Lipton report to Helen McCluskey, 49, group president of Warnaco’s intimate apparel businesses. McCluskey joined Warnaco in June after serving for three years as president of the Special Markets Group of Liz Claiborne Inc. as well as stints at Playtex Apparel and Sara Lee.

The appointment of Lipton marks the second time in less than a year that Warnaco has poached Liz Claiborne’s inner circle of executives. Lipton, a 20-year retail veteran and former vice president and divisional merchandise manager of intimate apparel, hosiery and fashion jewelry at Saks Fifth Avenue, joined the Claiborne firm last February as vice president and general merchandise manager of Liz Claiborne Modern Accessories, which includes the Juicy Couture, Ellen Tracy and Sigrid Olsen brands. She was promoted to vice president and general manager of Claiborne’s Special Markets Accessories division in October. A successor has not been named, said a spokeswoman at the Claiborne company.

Olson, whose background includes marketing well-known consumer packaged brands such as Cheerios and Betty Crocker, had formerly worked with McCluskey at Sara Lee Corp., when Olson joined the Playtex Apparel division in 1992, and later the licensed Ralph Lauren Intimates at Sara Lee, which was discontinued in late 2003. Olson was most recently a division manager of Edison Schools, a private company that manages public schools.

“This [the executive appointments] is Helen’s input on Warnaco’s intimate apparel business. We are delighted in her selections, and we are confident we’ll see business becoming more positive and more profitable,” said Joseph R. Gromek, Warnaco’s president and chief executive officer.
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