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Jessica Simpson brand making ‘strides’

BY CSA STAFF

TOPEKA, Kan. The tween market will never be the same, as Jessica Simpson’s brand gets set to kick up its heels.

The Stride Rite Children’s Group of Collective Brands Inc. and the Jessica Simpson brand manufacturer, Camuto Group, have entered into an exclusive multi-year global licensing agreement in which Stride Rite Children’s Group will design, develop, manufacture and distribute a line of footwear for the tween market for the Jessica Simpson Brand.

Debuting Holiday 2008, the collection will consist of both current Jessica Simpson women’s styles executed in youth sizes, as well as youth-specific silhouettes. Channels of distribution will include major department stores, as well as specialty retailers nationwide including Stride Rite stores.

“Jessica Simpson’s charisma, style and values make her a role model and inspiration to women and girls across America,” said Pam Salkovitz, president of Stride Rite Children’s Group. “We look forward to taking the brand into the girls’ market as part of a key strategy to expand beyond our core target and are thrilled to add the Jessica Simpson brand to our expanding portfolio.”

The Camuto Group is the owner of the Vince Camuto and Arturo Chiang brands and is the master licensee for the Jessica Simpson collection. Company ceo Vince Camuto said its partnership with Stride Rite is “ideal… as they have the broadest depth of knowledge and expertise in this market.”

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Macy’s to sell exclusive MSLO, Wedgwood line

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and Wedgwood announced today that they are bringing an exclusive line of tableware to Macy’s next year.

Beginning in January 2008, the Martha Stewart Collection, featuring china, crystal stemware and stainless steel flatware, will be available at Macy’s, macys.com and macysweddingchannel.com.

The china is five-piece place settings, ranging in price from $99 to $159; tea and coffee services and a full complement of serveware are also available, the companies reported. The stemware range from $30 to $37 per stem, while the flatware retails from $45 to $60 for a 5-piece place setting, according to the companies.

“I have always been an avid collector of fine china, crystal and silver, and my personal collection includes many Wedgwood pieces I am very proud to own. Our new line with Wedgwood offers a range of beautiful and timeless pieces that can be collected and enjoyed for years to come just like my antique pieces,” said Martha Stewart, founder of MSLO.

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Newell Rubbermaid names new executives

BY CSA STAFF

ATLANTA Newell Rubbermaid has announced key senior management changes designed to further drive growth and innovation, while speeding the company’s transformation into a marketer of consumer-driven brands.

James Roberts has been appointed executive group president of office products and cleaning, organization and decor. William Burke III will succeed Roberts as group president of tools and hardware. He will also retain responsibility for the company’s Lenox Industrial Products and Services business in North America until a successor is named at a later date. Steven Marton has been named president  of special assignments.

All executives will report directly to Newell Rubbermaid president and ceo Mark Ketchum.

“These business segment leaders have proven their ability to grow revenue and profit in challenging categories, while building brands, partnering with customers and suppliers, and building organizational capability,” Ketchum said.

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