STYLE
01/26/2012 01:57 pm ET Updated Mar 27, 2012

The Row Hires Prada CEO, Flexes Industry Muscle

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen have already gotten their high-end line, The Row, on the back of the first lady, on the runways of Paris and in nearly every luxury retailer across the country.

But The Row's fashion domination is only beginning, as evidenced by this new move: The Row has hired away Prada CEO Francois Kress to be its president and chief operating officer, according to Women's Wear Daily.

Kress has been at Prada since 2010, having previously served as the CEO and managing director of Bulgari. The selection of such a powerful player from a high-profile brand is a bold move for The Row and sends the message that Ashley and Mary-Kate have only begun to flex their industry muscle.

Mary-Kate told WWD, "[Kress] quickly became the obvious choice for us and for the brand, having experience in multiple categories which we feel is essential for growth of The Row."

How that continued growth will manifest itself is unclear. The line has already expanded into sunglasses, jewelry and menswear and it's widely known that the brand can even move $39,000 backpacks off the shelves.

So what's next? The twins have discussed opening freestanding The Row stores, which would certainly heighten brand awareness. Would more red carpet dressing or media publicity be next?

Only Ashley and Mary-Kate know for sure. Our best guess: whatever they create next will be very, very expensive.

Read more at WWD.com.

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