Chris Kolbe is a master of change. Now president of Orig-inal Penguin, Kolbe essentially runs the division for its parent company, Perry Ellis International. Original Pen-guin was a 1950s icon— the penguin logo appeared on Mun-singwear Penguin knit sport shirts for men. Eventually, its popularity faded, and Perry Ellis International later acquired the brand. Chris Kolbe was working in merchandising at retailer Urban Outfitters when he conceived the idea of reju-venating the penguin— but with a new twist and for a new market. Starting with a few new shirts, which sold out almost immediately, the “ new” Original Penguin began to grow, and Perry Ellis tapped Kolbe to complete the transformation as head of a new venture team. Kolbe recognizes that the fash-ion industry is a hotbed of change— and any clothing com-pany that wants to survive must embrace innovation. He also understands that change takes time and patience.
1. Why has it been important for Perry Ellis International to give freedom to a new venture team in order to relaunch Original Penguin?
2. In what respects does Original Penguin represent a cul-tural change for Perry Ellis?