Two mass market shoe companies are marking the new year with new hiring announcements, with both Steve Madden and Rothy’s making big appointments.
Madden has added Arian Simone to its board. As the president and chief executive officer of Fearless Fund, Simone set up a venture capital fund founded by women of color with the intent to invest in women of color-owned businesses. She first teamed up with Steve Madden in February 2021 by launching the Self Made x Fearless Fund series, which offered lectures, coaching and resources to women of color entrepreneurs.
Her appointment increases Steve Madden’s board to 11 seats (nine of which are independent directors), and she will be focused on “guiding strategy and enhancing value for all Steve Madden stakeholders,” according to a company-issue release.
Fearless Fund works with businesses seeking pre-seed, seed or Series A financing, often investing between $250,000 to $500,000. The company is backed by about $20 million and has so far invested in companies including Hairbrella, 100 Black Angels and Ellis Island Tea.
Additionally, Rothy’s has named its first vice president of retail. Mo Vachon has been appointed in the new role, responsible for overseeing Rothy’s retail expansion — which will include six new stores by the end of this year. He will also strategize retail experience improvements and innovation.
Vachon joins the sustainable, washable accessories label from Express where he was regional director based in Los Angeles. Vachon previously worked at Charlotte Russe where he rose to chief operating officer and has also held leadership roles at Claire’s and PacSun.
“Mo brings a wealth of knowledge and experience from a variety of retail brands that will be instrumental in driving the growth of Rothy’s retail stores in his new role. As vice president of retail, Mo will ensure Rothy’s continues to offer a best-in-class customer experience across our brick-and-mortar locations. He will also oversee the continuous development and implementation of operational strategies to evolve the Rothy’s in-store customer experience as we expand,” said the brand’s chief operating officer Heather Skidmore Howard.