Rebecca Damavandi has been named chief executive officer of Buscemi, the Los Angeles-based luxury footwear and accessories brand.
She succeeds Andrew Ajlun who remains with the company as a board member.
Most recently, Damavandi was group president of global business at Vince, and before that held a similar title at Kellwood Co., where she was responsible for global licensing and international business development for the Vince (then part of Kellwood), Rebecca Taylor and David Meister brands. Earlier in her career, she was president of licensing and global business development at Elie Tahari.
Damavandi, who will be based in L.A., will lead Buscemi’s strategic initiatives, with a special focus on the wholesale, retail and global merchandising sectors. Her appointment precedes the opening of the brand’s first flagship in New York at 47 Wooster Street during New York Fashion Week. The company plans an event on Sept. 8 from 7 to 10 p.m.
Buscemi launched in 2013 as a high-end men’s sneaker line. It launched its women’s range, with flat high-tops, a wedge high-top, booties and fringe styles in spring 2015. It also makes baby shoes, hats, small leather goods and backpacks, all in Italy. Bucscemi sells such high-end stores as Neiman Marcus, Barneys New York and Bergdorf Goodman. Every style is made with the finest leathers and high-end embellishments such as 18-karat gold locks and hand painted edges.
Jon Buscemi, creative director of Buscemi, said, “Her [Damavandi’s] clear knowledge of where Buscemi needs to go and how we can get there will help unlock the brand’s potential. I look forward to seeing what we can achieve together.”
Damavandi added, “Jon and I have a clear vision of where we want Buscemi to go and I look forward to taking the brand to the next level.”
Her immediate areas of focus will be the growth and further development of the women’s collection and the relaunch of the company’s e-commerce site which is set to launch exclusive styles this spring. Lion Capital is an investor in Buscemi.