Bill Blass has appointed Chris Benz as its creative director as the US fashion business prepares to relaunch as a global lifestyle brand.

The appointment is the company's first under new president and COO Stuart Goldblatt. In this role, Benz will be responsible for the overall creative direction of Bill Blass.

Goldblatt said Benz will "lead the brand into its next phase as we look to build on the significant heritage and influence Bill Blass brought to the industry".

The label closed its women's wear line two years ago, and has been working to simplify its legacy licenses and to take control of its intellectual property and trademarks globally.

Benz has previously held positions at Marc Jacobs and J Crew Group as well as launch his own collection in 2007.