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Comeau Duo Departs Bernardo

The label's creative heads and former owners sold the company last year.

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Bernardo Group LLC's former owners and lead designers, Lynne and Dennis Comeau, are resigning, 18 months after selling the firm to Peter Cooper and Todd Miller.

The pair was required to stay on as head designers for the period as a condition of the Bernardo sale, and with that obligation met, resort '13 will mark their last collection with the brand.

"We feel that we have written our chapter, and it is time to move on to some new and exciting projects," said Dennis Comeau, who bought and revived the 67-year-old women's brand in 2001. "We hope the new owners can continue and expand on the success we have had."

Bernardo got a new look shortly after Miller and Cooper took over, with a revamped aesthetic that mixed bold hues and textures with classic silhouettes referencing the made-in-Italy label's heritage.

Going forward, the firm is looking to expand further. "Over the past year, Bernardo has been engaged in many exciting changes as we continue to develop the company into a multi-tiered brand," Miller said, although he declined to reveal specific plans. "These changes are ongoing. ... Our brand is growing tremendously both domestically and internationally."

Cooper added that the Comeaus' departure will allow Bernardo to explore new design directions while "embracing our heritage as well as our future in fashion." He added, "Dennis and Lynne Comeau were an important part of Bernardo's growth over the past several years, and we know they're going to be very successful with their new [endeavors]."

For their part, the designers plan to remain in the shoe business, creating and sourcing footwear for primarily Italian brands out of headquarters now under construction in Santa Fe, N.M. "We have had several offers and opportunities presented to us, and we are considering those while we forge ahead with our design studio," Dennis Comeau said.

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