Market Overview

Wacoal America Names Mitch Kauffman New CEO as Bob Vitale Announces Retirement


NEW YORK, Oct. 1, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Wacoal America, Inc. announced today its CEO succession plan. As of today, Bob Vitale announced his retirement and will be stepping down as President effectively handing the reins over to Mitch Kauffman, who was previously the brand's Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. Vitale will continue to serve as CEO, advising and lending guidance to Kauffman until March 2020, when Kauffman would assume the role. The plan is being announced in advance to assure an orderly transition with no disruption to the company's activities.

Mitch Kauffman

Wacoal is an intimates' category leader, and dominant premier brand in US department and specialty stores, with a flagship boutique located at The Mall at Short Hills in New Jersey. Founded in Japan in 1949 by Koichi Tsukamoto and launched in America in 1985, Wacoal has perfected the art of intimates over the past 70 years with exceptional design, manufacturing capabilities, and business infrastructure.

Fit is a cornerstone tenet of the Wacoal brand, embodied through the prioritization of technical innovation, the sourcing of high-quality materials, and a focus on the evolving consumer through millions of bra fittings on real women. The brand's focus on fit goes beyond the product, and extends to community, through a national team of expert fit consultants who support customers with styles that work best for their body type and lifestyle. It also recently acquired LIVELY, a digitally native brand that prides itself on the vast community of over 80,000 ambassadors that founder, Michelle Cordeiro Grant, built through social networking services and digital media marketing methods.

Bob Vitale has led Wacoal America for 7 years, having been with the company almost 22 years and employed in the intimate's industry for 42 years. "I consider myself very lucky to have come to Wacoal and have been honored to serve as the company's President. I am very proud of the unsurpassed level of success Wacoal has earned, which can be directly attributed to its collaborative staff working in the spirit of Wacoal's guiding principles of mutual trust and respect. It has been a pleasure to witness the brand go from a strong luxury store brand to a position of dominance in department stores and on-line with worldwide growth potential. The foundation of Wacoal America is strong and well prepared to extend our leadership position in a time of unprecedented change."

Regarding Kauffman and his new role, Vitale is confident for the future of Wacoal stating, "Mitch's interaction with all departments within the company and with our key store partners has resulted in strong, trusting relationships. He is well regarded for his fair and honest dealings grounded in strong industry knowledge and for his strategic decision-making skills. He has my complete confidence and I have no doubt of the company's continued success under his leadership."

Mitch Kauffman commented, "Wacoal America is an extraordinary company and I am proud to be a part of its heritage and continuing success. In my new role I will strive to sustain and enhance our position as the lingerie company that women trust for fit, quality, comfort, and service." Kauffman, an intimate's industry veteran with 30 years of experience, has been at Wacoal America for over 3 years leading the Marketing department and Wacoal Sales business.

Kauffman continued, "The fast pace of change in the retail environment brings with it some challenges, but also affords us opportunities for continued growth in new areas. Our Department and Specialty Store business is healthy and will continue to be at the core of our strategy moving forward. Wacoal America already enjoys a robust penetration online, and we will continue to focus on growing our brands in that space through enhanced marketing efforts. Additionally, we see great opportunity in our international businesses in Canada, Central and South America. The future of the brand remains bright."

As of today, Bob Vitale announced his retirement and will maintain the role of CEO through March 2020.  Mitch Kauffman will assume the role of President of Wacoal America beginning October 2019, and the role of CEO effective March 2020. 

Established in 1985, Wacoal America is the leading lingerie brand that women trust for fit, quality, and comfort for a wide range of body types from petites through I cup. Cultivated by over 30 years of expertise and dedication to their craft, Wacoal has pioneered the art of bra fitting, and today, their expert fit consultants help women find the sizes that make them look and feel beautiful. Never satisfied with the status quo, their designers keep a finger on the pulse of the fashion industry and are always looking for new and better ways to deliver beautiful bras that meet the expectations of modern women for comfort, quality, and performance.  Wacoal's commitment to women extends beyond the design studio and into the community, where they support the fight against breast cancer through their longstanding partnership with Susan G. Komen®. Follow us on social for the latest updates: Facebook (@Wacoal) and Instagram (@WacoalAmerica).

Bob Vitale

Wacoal (PRNewsfoto/Wacoal International Corporation)

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SOURCE Wacoal America, Inc.

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