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Kellwood Company Names Lynn Shanahan Chief Executive Officer

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12/05/2013 | 03:21pm CEST

Shanahan's Appointment Marks Start of New Kellwood Structure and Acceleration of Strategy to Grow Kellwood and its Brands

Kellwood Company, a leading apparel manufacturer and marketer owned by affiliates of Sun Capital Partners Inc., today announced the appointment of Lynn Shanahan to Chief Executive Officer of Kellwood Company following the Initial Public Offering of VINCE, completed November 27th, 2013. Previously the Chief Executive Officer of Kellwood Brands, Shanahan will now assume all corporate responsibilities of Kellwood Company including Finance, Human Resources, IT , e-commerce and Legal in addition to her existing role running the Branded, Junior and Private label businesses including Rebecca Taylor, David Meister, Sam Edelman and XOXO. She reports to the Board of Kellwood Company.

Lynn Shanahan, CEO Kellwood Company (Photo: Business Wire)

Lynn Shanahan, CEO Kellwood Company (Photo: Business Wire)

"Lynn brings 30 years of expertise in brand building, unrivaled industry knowledge and a charismatic leadership style to a pivotal moment of our growth," said Christopher Metz, Managing Partner of Kellwood Company. "We couldn't ask for more."

VINCE, formerly a subsidiary of Kellwood Company, was successfully separated from the Company in an Initial Public Offering which raised $200 million. Further, VINCE raised an additional $175 million in new term loans. Proceeds from the transactions were used to pay down Kellwood debt which was due in 2014 and 2017. Simultaneous with this transaction, Kellwood Company entered into a new five year $120 million Revolving Credit Facility with Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. to provide for its working capital needs under the new Kellwood Corporate structure.

Shanahan looks to substantially increase the business through the accelerated growth of indigenous brands, the creation of further strategic partnerships, and acquisitions. "We have outstanding brands, fast-turnaround design and production capabilities, relationships with retailers across the spectrum, and a best-in-class e-commerce division. It is a thrill and an honor to be able to lead Kellwood on a vigorous path to growth with this unbeatable mix of assets," Shanahan said.

To drive the growth strategy of Kellwood, Shanahan, in short order, has built upon the already strong leadership team with three immediate and significant senior executive hires. Joe Lombardi, Chief Financial Officer of Kellwood Brands, is a ten-year veteran of Barnes & Noble, having held the CFO position. Joe has assumed the role of CFO of Kellwood Company. Jim Scarfone has been appointed as Senior Vice President, Human Resources, joining Kellwood Company from Ulta Beauty, Duane Reade and Toys R Us; and as President of Sam Edelman Apparel, Leslie Singer, previously Executive Vice President of Sales and Merchandising for NYDJ, will join the Kellwood team on December 5th.

The Kellwood portfolio includes an array of well-known, high-growth apparel brands that appeal to a wide range of consumers and lifestyles. A significant success is the Rebecca Taylor Brand with double digit growth in the contemporary women's fashion arena since acquired by Kellwood in 2011. In 2014, Kellwood will launch a partnership with award-winning footwear designer Sam Edelman for a first-ever apparel line which sets the stage for many more such initiatives. Its XOXO brand is a favorite with its target consumer marked by its fall 2013 campaign with fashion darling Lily Aldridge. Red-carpet fixture David Meister, known for his gowns at Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus and Saks recently launched his new collection David, by David Meister on HSN.

"Nobody is more qualified than Lynn Shanahan to take the helm of Kellwood," said Jill Granoff, Kellwood Company's previous CEO, and current CEO of VINCE. "Lynn is a proven leader with a demonstrated track record of success in building global brands."

During her 15-year tenure in senior leadership positions at Tommy Hilfiger, Shanahan shepherded the company from infancy to a global fashion powerhouse. Ultimately responsible for all U.S. wholesale operations, she established its first e-commerce capability and helped build the company's $1 billion licensing program. She subsequently founded C2 Group, and brought Finnish clothing and textile brand Marimekko back to the United States. After being named President of Marimekko's North American division, she opened flagship stores on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, in Boston and in Beverly Hills.


Kellwood Company designs, manufactures, and markets a broad portfolio of fashion brands including Rebecca Taylor, Sam Edelman, David Meister, XOXO, My Michelle, Jolt, Democracy, Sangria, Jax, Sag Harbor and Briggs NY. Kellwood operates retail stores and e-commerce sites for Rebecca Taylor, as well as the e-commerce store for David Meister. Kellwood Company is an affiliated portfolio company of Sun Capital Partners, Inc.

Kellwood Company
Cathy O'Brien, 212-661-1336
[email protected]

© Business Wire 2013
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