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Apparel retailer for women, bebe stores Inc. , has put forward the name of Ms. Brigitte Bogart for the position of Executive Vice President of Design and Product Development. Ms. Bogart will be in charge of the newly created role of leading the brand’s design team with immediate effect.

Brigitte Bogart is a well established name in the apparel industry as she possesses valuable experience working as a creative design executive spanning two decades. She has created a niche for herself in this industry after working successfully with numerous fashion brands over time. Recently, she founded LHM Design Inc., where her designs were sold by high-end fashion retailers.

Ms. Bogart’s newly created and senior role with bebe stores will be her second association with the company as she had worked with the brand earlier, as a designer for the brand’s first design studio in Los Angeles, Calif., in 2001. She was the Senior Design Director, forecasting trends and designing clothes for the brand from 2001 to 2009.

In her new role, Brigitte will report to the company’s CEO, Steve Birkhold. The company believes that her exceptional insight into the likes of bebe’s customers and the latest fashion trends along with her proven design and product development abilities will go a long way in achieving the goal of expanding via innovation.

Meanwhile, bebe stores have been witnessing weakened sales trends of late. In January, the company posted weaker-than-expected retail sales results for the second quarter of fiscal 2013 ended Dec 29, 2012 as total retail sales of $124.6 million declined 11.7% from $141.1 million in the prior-year quarter.

Comps declined 10.5% for the quarter compared with an increase of 9.6% in the year-ago period. Last quarter, the company’s total retail sales were down 9.4%, while comps declined 8.7%.

Such weak trends have pushed the company to a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell). Alongside, other stocks in the retail-apparel/shoe sector that are currently performing well include Express Inc. (EXPR - Snapshot Report) , Citi Trends Inc. (CTRN - Analyst Report) and Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (ANF - Analyst Report) , all of which carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

bebe stores design, develop and produce a distinctive line of contemporary women's apparel and accessories. They market their products under the bebe, bebe moda and bbsp brand names through their retail stores located in Canada and the United Kingdom.