Footwear brand Stuart Weitzman has created three top-level positions — chief executive officer, president and chief manufacturing adviser — in an effort to strengthen its fashion profile.
Gaetano Sallorenzo has been named ceo, Wayne Kulkin, president, and Giorgio Vicini, chief manufacturing adviser.
“We have embarked on a plan to expand our business globally and offer more luxury and fashion-oriented footwear,” founder Stuart Weitzman said. “Such aspirations call for additional support and experience.”
The company hasn’t had a ceo since 2007. “As we grew, we didn’t expand our management team…we were each doing more than the job was set up to be….[These additional hires] should have happened 10 years ago, when we started our great growth period,” Weitzman said.
The Jones Group acquired 55 percent of Stuart Weitzman Holdings LLC for $180 million in May.
Sallorenzo, most recently ceo of Italian denim company Replay Group, will focus on “opening opportunities for products in new markets,” Weitzman said. He also has been ceo of CK and Calvin Klein Jeans and Sportswear for Europe, as well as president of Giorgio Armani North America.
“About 40 percent of our business is located outside of the U.S., and it’s growing every year….We need to build a bigger organization to service [the international market] the way we do the U.S. and be in contact with international selling organizations, not just going to fairs,” Weitzman said, adding that he envisions “more retail stores, some of our own, and some placement at retailers.”
Kulkin has been with the brand for 20 years, and in his new position will be responsible for “expanding wholesale and retail ventures, including the Internet,” Weitzman said.
Vicini, who has worked 25 years in shoe manufacturing for brands such as Christian Dior and Roberto Cavalli, will aim to bring “the world’s best shoe-making technology to our factories in Spain,” Weitzman said.
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