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Lela Rose Hires New CEO, Looks to Launch Accessories

The designer, whose work has been championed by both Michelle Obama and Kate Middleton, looks to bring her label to the next level.

On Friday, New York-based label Lela Rose announced that it has hired Ellen Rodriguez as CEO, with one of her main objectives being to help the brand expand into new categories within the luxury apparel and lifestyle markets.

Rodriguez comes from French Connection, where she served as president and chief executive officer, and she's previously held positions at Cole Haan, Calvin Klein, Juicy Couture and Nautica. 

“I’m excited to work alongside Lela in expanding the business, building out new opportunities and enabling the brand to grow on a larger scale,” Rodriguez said in a press release. According to WWD, the first categories that Lela Rose plans to branch out into are shoes, handbags and jewelry, with a signature tabletop collection already in the works.

Rose's elegant, brightly colored designs—which are sold in a number of high-end retailers around the country, including Bergdorf Goodman—have become a favorite of some very high-profile women, including Michelle Obama, Kate Middleton (who wore a Lela Rose dress on her recent trip through Australia), Mindy Kaling and Julianna Margulies. 

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