07/14/2004 at 03:55 PM EDT
In what's considered a major Seventh Avenue coup, Beyoncé has snagged designer Heather Thomson away from Jennifer Lopez's Sweetface Fashion Company, bringing her over to the pop star's own – and as yet unnamed – label, reports Women's Wear Daily.
Thomson's credits also include Sean "P. Diddy" Combs's Sean John line, helping the music entrepreneur step into the fashion arena.
J.Lo, whose 3-year-old clothing line is one of the fashion industry's success stories, hired Thomson two years ago for the J.Lo by Jennifer Lopez junior collection.
"Heather went somewhere else to work. ... I wish Heather the best," Andy Hilfiger, Sweetface's cofounder and director (and brother of lifestyle wear designer Tommy Hilfiger) confirmed to Women's Wear, which notes that Beyoncé, 22, and J.Lo, who turns 34 on Saturday, have been competing on the airwaves and now stand to face off in the retail arena.
Lopez's two fragrances, Glow and Still, totaled $200 million in sales last year, and recently Beyoncé announced her own fragrance line, in which she is partnered with Tommy Hilfiger.
The Beyoncé fashion line, which is being developed in partnership with Kids Headquarters (which also handles Timberline and Kenneth Cole, among its labels), is being designed in part by Beyoncé's mother, Tina Knowles, who is said to have been responsible for much of her daughter's personal wardrobe.
Beyoncé's company had no comment about Thomson.