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NEW YORK — John Varvatos named Robert J. Wichser president and chief executive officer.
Most recently, Wichser consulted at Narciso Rodriguez and, before that one-year gig, was a principal at Yucaipa Companies, where he also served as president and ceo of the Sean John brand. Prior to that, Wichser spent 11 years as president and ceo of Joseph Abboud.
“I have known and admired John for 10 years, and have tremendous respect for the aesthetic of the company and the integrity in which the business has been built,” Wichser, whose first day is Sept. 6, said. “I think the company is perfectly positioned to become the next major lifestyle brand, and I am confident that in working with John and the entire John Varvatos organization, we can do just that.”
Wichser will report to Varvatos, the company’s chairman and chief creative officer, who also currently holds the title of president. “Bob is the partner I have wanted since we started the company,” Varvatos said. “With Bob at the helm, the sky is the limit.”
Meanwhile, the division of VF Corp. also named Don Witkowski vice president of merchandising, reporting to Varvatos. Witkowski previously had his own merchandising and production consulting company, Kona Consult, and before that served as president of men’s wear at Michael Kors and at Nautica. He was also a driving force behind the growth of Donna Karan’s men’s business in the late Nineties. “Don is one of the best merchants in the industry,” Varvatos said. “He understands all levels of the market. His eye, taste level and business acumen are incredible.”