Mary Beech, former chief marketing officer and executive vice president of Kate Spade New York, has joined Sarah Flint, the direct-to-consumer luxury footwear company, as chief executive officer, a new post.
Beech reports to Sarah Flint, founder, executive chairman and creative director of the brand she launched in 2013. Flint pivoted to a direct-to-consumer model in 2017 from department and specialty store distribution, leading to triple-digit growth. By knocking out the middleman, Flint was able to reduce her prices by up to 50 percent from retail prices.
The business has grown from eight employees in 2017 to 26 today. Flint had been acting as ceo. Veronica Collins, former president and chief operating officer, left the company in early 2019 to relocate with her family to Colorado.
Beech is based at the company’s New York headquarters at 37 West 20th Street, where 23 employees work. Three others, who manage production and factory partners, are based in Italy.
During Beech’s tenure at Kate Spade, she led a 90-person marketing team across North America, China, Europe and Japan. Earlier she was senior vice president of global licensing and marketing for Disney and Pixar Animation at the Walt Disney Co. and before that was senior director of marketing at Ralph Lauren.
“Her proven track record of scaling brands paired with her strong leadership skills will help take Sarah Flint to the next level of growth,” said Flint of Beech.
“As a leader steeped in brand building and customer-centricity, I have enormous admiration for Sarah’s creative vision and all that she has built to date, and I am excited to partner with her on writing the next chapter of the Sarah Flint story,” said Beech.
Discussing growth opportunities, Flint said the company began to experiment with physical retail in 2019, opening its first pop-up shop in SoHo. It will continue to open temporary stores in new markets this year, including a location in Georgetown this spring. In the future, she would like to have a permanent space, but she sees many benefits, including flexibility, to having pop-up locations.