Specialty retailer The Wet Seal, Inc. announced a number of new management appointments aimed at improving performance of its Wet Seal stores and strengthening its internal systems and planning departments.

The company has appointed Allan D. Haims as President of the Wet Seal division and fashion designer Victor Alfaro as Senior Vice President, Creative Director.

“Allan has a successful track record at increasing sales and profitability in a highly competitive retail environment during his previous roles at The Disney Stores and The Limited,” said Peter D. Whitford, CEO of The Wet Seal, Inc. “Victor is one of the fashion industry's most respected designers having won the coveted Perry Ellis Award for New Design Talent and has dressed the likes of Madonna, Demi Moore, Mariah Carey and Cindy Crawford.

“I am confident that together with our existing team, Allan and Victor will make a significant contribution to Wet Seal as we work to reinvigorate our core division with our target market of savvy fashion-forward teenagers.”

Susan O'Toole, the current president of the division, will take on the new role as Chief Merchandising Officer of the Wet Seal division.

“Susan has clearly demonstrated her retail talent both during her time at Wet Seal and in prior positions at The Limited and The Limited Too. This new position will enable her to focus her efforts on the critical task of improving the merchandise mix and responding to ever-changing fashion trends,” said Whitford.

At The Wet Seal, Inc., Joseph Deckop has been appointed to the newly created position of Executive Vice President of Central Planning & Allocation.

“Joseph brings more than 30 years of experience in financial and systems planning to this role, including nine years as Chief Financial Officer of Victoria's Secret,” said Whitford. “He will work with the senior management team to enhance our product flow and allocation and ensure products for all three of our divisions get to market as quickly as possible.”

Allan Haims has more than 20 years operational experience in specialty and department store retailing. Most recently he was Senior Vice President, Business Development Worldwide for The Disney Store, Inc. where he oversaw the merchandising, marketing, planning and allocation, sourcing, communications and store operations departments. Prior to this he held senior positions with a number of leading national retailers including Structure and Victoria's Secret, both divisions of The Limited. He was also founder and president of a mall-based chain of specialty stores selling fragrance, cosmetic and skin care products. In addition he spent 10 years with Hechts, a division of May Department Stores.

Since graduating from the New York Fashion Institute of Technology, Mexican-born Victor Alfaro has developed an international reputation for style and quality, winning the prestigious Council of Designers of America Perry Ellis Award for New Design Talent. He has also won the Dallas Mart Award, the Vidal Sassoon Most Promising Designer Award and the Omni Fashion Designer Award for Best American Designer. For the past ten years he has designed under his own Victor Alfaro label and in 1999 launched a pret-a-porter line named VIC. His designs have graced the cover of leading magazines including Vogue and Cosmopolitan, and he's dressed the likes of Madonna, Demi Moore, Nicole Kidman, Mariah Carey, Cindy Crawford and Winona Ryder. Victor replaces Lenny Parrella who resigned from the company for personal reasons.

Joseph Deckop was most recently Senior Vice President, Strategic Systems Planning at The Disney Store, Inc. where he oversaw the selection and implementation of new systems software and managed the planning and allocation departments. Prior to this he was Chief Financial Officer for a number of leading specialty retailers including Victoria's Secret, Frederick's of Hollywood and Value City Furniture.