Ellesse International (ellesse.com), the premium Italian sportswear brand, has a new president for its US branch. UK-based Pentland Brands plc (pentland.com), Ellesse’s parent company, announced this week that Maria Stefan has taken on the position.

Stefan will be responsible for spearheading the brand’s American relaunch, expanding its presence in the US market, and building on Ellesse’s ski and tennis heritage.

Andrew Leslie, president of Ellesse International, said Stefan's arrival will help the activewear company increase its US business and further its growth as global brand.

Stefan is a longtime veteran of the sporting goods industry. She most recently served as executive director and vice president of global business development at SGMA International, which owns US sports apparel and equipment trade fair The Super Show. She currently serves as chairman of the Committee on Development of the World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry.

Founded in 1959, Ellesse International first became known for its ski stretchpant. The company also found fashion success with tennis apparel in the 1970s. It is headquartered in Perugia, Italy. Ellesse USA is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ellesse International.