Linda Wachner: Washed Up At Warnaco?

With her apparel empire out of fashion and out of money, CEO Linda Wachner needs a new strategy

You can call Warnaco boss Linda Wachner, 55, lots of things, and within New York City's viper-lipped rag trade many do--ruthless, cruel, abrasive, self-serving, vulgar. And then there are the people who don't like her. But no one ever accused her of being lazy.

As a junior buyer at Foley's Department Stores in Houston in 1968, Wachner would spend her downtime patrolling the streets to spot trends. Early in her career, she revolutionized the lingerie business by merchandising bras on racks rather than hiding them in boxes. In the 15 years since she won Warnaco in a hostile buyout, Wachner has...

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