Liz Claiborne Inc has tapped Isaac Mizrahi as creative director for the Liz Claiborne brand in a move that ends Mizrahi's five-year partnership with discount retailer Target Corp.

In his new role, Mizrahi will oversee the design and marketing functions for women's apparel, accessories and licensing, with his first collection for Liz Claiborne due in stores in spring 2009.
William L McComb, chief executive officer of Liz Claiborne Inc, said the company hopes Mizrahi's "innovative design sense and widespread appeal" will breathe new life into the Liz Claiborne brand.

He added: "It is certainly no secret that the brand has been lacking a clear and cohesive vision and has languished as a result.

"With this appointment, we are taking a major step towards our goal of creating irresistible product that will provide today's discerning woman with a compelling reason to buy."

Liz Claiborne is currently nearing the end of a sweeping review of its brand portfolio, selling many of its labels to focus instead on fewer product lines such as Juicy Couture, Mexx, Lucky Brand and Kate Spade, which it believes have the greatest potential for growth.

Minneapolis-based Target said the Isaac Mizrahi for Target collection will continue to be sold in select Target stores until the end of 2008.

Earlier this week Liz Claiborne revealed similar plans to revamp its Claiborne men's sports wear line with the appointment of cutting-edge men's wear designer John Bartlett to create a new Claiborne by John Bartlett collection.