Fortrove News

Xcel Brands has officially announced a new member to join their ranks. The newly created job of vice president of sales for the Judith Ripka brand has now been given to jewelry industry veteran Kendra Bridelle. As of June 15th, the appointment of Bridelle's new position has been effective according to a report from Judith Ripka President Janice Winter.

Bridelle's role will include overseeing Judith Ripka's development and expansion in the wholesale jewelry market. With her experience of 20 years in sales as well as developing new businesses, she is sure to excel in her newest role among the staff at Judith Ripka. Her past senior leadership roles include working at Freida Rothman, Montblanc, and Robert Lee Morris. 

According to a statement by Winter, she said “With the dynamic changes in the jewelry industry and Kendra’s experience, we are confident she is the ideal person to introduce the new collections to the market.”

Robert D’Loren, chairman and CEO of parent company Xcel Brands, said: “I am extremely excited by the progress we have made in this business since we transitioned the business from a licensing model to a vertical operation under our control.

“Our design teams are developing magnificent products and our fully developed technology platform consisting of 3-D design, consumer insight testing, PLM/ERP, retail POS, and e-commerce systems position us well to lead in the industry. I am delighted that Kendra has joined us.”

Back in 2014, New York-based Xcel Brands had acquired Judith Ripka, to which Ripka said in a statement “This is an outstanding opportunity to cultivate our brand and reach our loyal followers in a new way,” Ripka said in a statement. “I’m thrilled to be part of (Xcel) and believe that we are well positioned for the future.”

Ripka had created her first 18-karat gold jewelry in 1977 and has received a bunch of awards for her designs. Even after the acquisition, she stayed on as the brand's chief designer. Xcel acquired the jewelry brand as well as its intellectual property for $22.5 million. For over four decades, Judith Ripka has been creating jewelry worn by celebrities like Miley Cyrus, Isla Fisher, and Naomi Watts.

Information originally sourced from National Jeweler.