ZALE TAPS MIHALKO: Zale Corp. said on Friday that George Mihalko, a former vice chairman, chief administrative officer and chief financial officer of The Sports Authority, was appointed acting chief administrative officer and chief financial officer. Mihalko replaces Mark Lenz as cfo. Lenz is on administrative leave in connection with recommendations by Zale’s external auditors after an analysis of the company’s financial reports for the fiscal year ended July 31, 2005. The company said that it is reviewing delays in certain vendor payments that were to have been made in July 2005, but weren’t made until August 2005. While the delays are not believed to have affected earnings and revenues, they are thought to have increased cash flows from operating activities and free operating cash flow, Zale said. Zale Corp. is a specialty retailer of fine jewelry that operates an estimated 2,345 retail locations in the U.S., Puerto Rico and Canada.

GETTING HER KICKS: Though she hasn’t owned a pair of sneakers since she was about 10 years old, Nanette Lepore is getting in on the sneaker game. The fashion designer will design a limited-edition spring collection for Keds that will launch at the WSA trade show in August. The collection consists of 12 to 15 styles, including a variation on the Keds Classic Champion sneaker, in colors and prints that Lepore will feature in her spring contemporary collection. Though they won’t be available in select department stores and specialty boutiques until February, fans might get a glimpse during Lepore’s spring 2007 runway show here in September, where she is considering having the models saunter down the runway in their Lepore-designed Keds.

This story first appeared in the May 9, 2006 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.