Arezzo & Co. celebrated the unveiling of its New York showroom Wednesday evening.
It represents a new Stateside initiative for the Brazilian footwear conglomerate — which this year has amped up its staff with 20 hires, including chief operating officer Alex Michail — formerly the chief financial officer for Hunter Boot in the Americas.
“Expanding in the U.S. is a very important step for us. It’s the biggest, most competitive market, but we are trying to make something different,” said Birman himself at the event.
While the Alexandre Birman brand had wholesaled in the U.S., Schutz did not previously have a dedicated Stateside showroom and was primarily available at branded flagships. The firm declined to provide figures related to its investment in developing the U.S. market, nor projections for the market’s growth.
Birman noted that Arezzo occupies a 15-plus percent share of the footwear market in Brazil. The firm operates more than 600 shoe stores for its five brands (three of which are not retailed in the U.S.). “We have a huge market share in Brazil. It’s a lot for the shoe industry. We don’t want to go to a lower price point, so the U.S. market is the way for us to grow and capitalize on our asset, which is product development,” he said.