Report: Kellwood Closes Denim Academy

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NEW YORK – Kellwood Co. has closed its Denim Academy unit as part of its continuing emphasis on its Phat Fashions franchise, according to market sources.

Denim Academy, a moderately price urban sportswear line, had been part of Kellwood’s Def Jam University operation but had been relegated to secondary status, and never actually launched, since Kellwood acquired Phat Fashions. Kellwood instead has focused on expanding and upgrading the Phat fashion business launched by Russell and Kimora Lee Simmons, sources said.

While Kellwood didn’t immediately provide comment on Denim Academy’s status, the company did announce on Friday that Paula Rosado had joined Phat Fashions as vice president of marketing and public relations for its Baby Phat and KLS by Kimora Lee Simmons brands.

Rosado had been vice president of public relations for global marketing at Tommy Hilfiger U.S.A and spent ten years with the firm. Earlier, she worked in advertising and communications at Prada USA Corp.

Bernt Ullmann, president of Phat Fashions, praised Rosado’s “vision, expertise, and marketing savvy,” saying they “will play an essential part in the continual progression of our highly recognizable brands.”

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