June 21, 2010, 12:35 PM

A Charming Shoppes exec switches divisions

MaryEllen MacDowell moves from Lane Bryant Outlet to Fashion Bug.

Multichannel apparel retailer Charming Shoppes Inc. has named MaryEllen MacDowell president of Fashion Bug. She replaces Jay Levitt who stepped down to pursue other interests, the company says.

MacDowell had been president of the company’s Lane Bryant Outlet division since January 2009. Before that she had held a variety of roles at Charming Shoppes, including  senior vice president and general merchandise manager of apparel and accessories and product development at the company's Lane Bryant brand and vice president and divisional merchandise manager for plus-size sportswear, dresses, and swimwear for the Fashion Bug brand.  

"[MacDowell] has earned each of her successive appointments with the company and we look forward to incorporating her vision and expertise as well as her proven successes at the Fashion Bug and our other brands," says Jim Fogarty, president and CEO of Charming Shoppes.

Charming Shoppes, No. 128 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, also named Laura Johnson executive vice president of merchandising and product development for Fashion Bug. She will report to MacDowell.

Johnson most recently worked as president and CEO of luxury women's apparel manufacturer Zac Posen/House of Z LLC. She has also worked as general merchandise manager and design director of Urban Outfitters Inc. and held senior merchandise positions at Barneys New York, Banana Republic and Limited Stores.

“As in other recent executive announcements, we view these appointments as an investment and as vital in assisting our brands in succeeding,” says Fogarty. “MaryEllen's and Laura's appointments follow a number of important acquisitions of talent we have made over the last year, including sourcing and Internet executives, and leaders in finance and human resources. I believe our Fashion Bug brand has a great future and further believe MaryEllen, Laura, and the rest of the team can help us unlock that future."

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