J. Crew appoints new designer and cuts workforce

J. Crew Group Inc. has named Somsack Sikhounmuong head of women’s design for its flagship brand and said it will eliminate 175 positions, shaking up its business after a sales decline. The 175 job cuts will mostly come from positions at its corporate headquarters, the company said

Tom Mora, the former J. Crew head of women’s design, is leaving the company, the New York-based retailer said in a statement Wednesday. Sikhounmuong, who was head of design for the company’s Madewell brand for the last two years, will continue to report to Jenna Lyons, executive creative director of J. Crew Group.

Chief Executive Officer Mickey Drexler is making the changes a week after the company reported disappointing first-quarter results. Sales at its J. Crew brand fell 5.2 percent in the period, hurt by problems in its women’s business.