J. Crew is working to reverse its two-season sales decline with organizational changes and business improvement initiatives that include the appointment of designers to new positions.
On Wednesday, the company announced that Somsack Sikhounmuong has been named head of women’s design for J. Crew, succeeding Tom Mora who will part ways with the company. The company also announced Joyce Lee as the new Head of women’s design for Madewell.
Sikhounmuong has been the head of design for Madewell for the past two years and has been the main catalyst behind the brand’s success. He held several design positions while with the company from 2001 to 2012, and he will continue to report to President and Executive Creative Director of J.Crew Group, Jenna Lyons.
Lee has been a senior member of the Madewell design crew for seven years, and she held design positions at Michael Kors and Marc Jacobs prior to joining Madewell. She will now report to Jenna Lyons.
The company is also making changes to store operations, production, sourcing, and merchandising. Part of the changes required a reduction in headcount. Approximately 175 open and filled full time positions from the corporate headquarters have been dissolved.
In Q1 2015, the company experienced a decrease in revenue and comparable store sales. While the J. Crew brand struggled, Madewell flourished exceeding expectations. Sikhounmuong is expected to replicate his success with the company’s namesake label.
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