Nine West Group to Grow Mid-tier Business

Nine West Group has appointed Richard Olicker to spearhead growth of its mid-tier brands division.
 
Olicker, who has more than 25 years of industry experience, will be president of mid-tier brands and direct sourcing group for Nine West Group, effective Oct. 11.
 
Olicker previously served as president and COO of Steve Madden Ltd. and president of wholesale for Kenneth Cole Productions. He most recently founded LeSportsac Footwear.

Rick Paterno, wholesale president for better footwear brands at Nine West Group, a division of the Jones Apparel Group, told Footwear News that the company has “some pretty good mid-tier brands that have been underdeveloped over the years.”
 
As such, Paterno said now is the time to step up growth of that segment, as well as the first cost direct business segment, which started last year to source and make product for private label.
 
“There is certainly growth with private label [business] throughout the industry, and many of our competitors have been in that business for quite some time,” he added. “So we felt, with the sourcing and design capabilities we have as a total company, that [first cost] was an important segment of the business for us to be in.”
 
Nine West Group’s mid-tier brands include Mootsies Tootsies, Sam & Libby, Dockers, Nine & Co. and Gloria Vanderbilt. Paterno said the firm has over the last two years been “putting more emphasis on … reinventing Sam & Libby and Mootsies Tootsies [to make them] more modern and relevant.”
 
Footwear makes up about a third of The Jones Group’s total revenue. As at the end of the second quarter, the company saw year-to-date total sales of $581 million for better apparel, $412 million for jeanswear and $507 million for footwear and accessories.