Xcel Brands, Inc. announced that it had appointed Ken Downing as creative director of the Halston brand. He was the fashion director of Neiman Marcus.

Downing will oversee the evolution of Halston in his new role and serve as the public face and voice of the brand, including hosting Halston livestream sessions.

“This appointment is another key step in bringing our vision for Halston to full fruition and in our broad strategy of continuing to build our live-selling ecosystem, supported by well-known and authentic personalities, that enables our brands to connect directly with customers,” said Robert W. D’Loren, chairman and CEO of Xcel. “Ken’s creative vision and expertise in brand building are unparalleled, and his magnetic, warm personality has made him one of the most highly recognized and respected people in fashion. We’re extremely pleased to bring Ken on board to guide the creative vision of Halston as we solidify our leadership within the fast-growing retail livestreaming marketplace.”

Xcel Brands is one of the largest apparel and jewelry providers within the interactive TV market and is strategically investing in livestreaming technology platforms and partnerships.

The company produces and distributes apparel and accessories under the Halston label, available at premium retailers, including Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, and HSN.

Xcel owns the Judith Ripka, Halston, Logo by Lori Goldstein, and C. Wonder brands and has a minority stake in the Isaac Mizrahi brand. It also owns and manages the Longaberger brand through its controlling interest in Longaberger Licensing, LLC.

Photo courtesy Ken Downing (left), Robert D’Loren (right)