Kenneth Cole Adds Zamarra to Lead Women’s Shoes

NEW YORK­ — A familiar face is rejoining Kenneth Cole Productions Inc. as the firm continues to solidify its management team after being taken private last year by its founder.

Roberto Zamarra, most recently Jones’ president of boutique brands and wholesale footwear, has been appointed as president of better branded women’s footwear and Kenneth Cole handbags, executives at the firm told Footwear News last week. He was an account executive at Kenneth Cole early in his career.

Zamarra will oversee the Kenneth Cole, Kenneth Cole Reaction and Gentle Souls brands, and will be responsible for all aspects of sales, production and design. He will start at the company March 11, reporting directly to Chairman and Chief Creative Officer Kenneth Cole.

A footwear industry veteran, Zamarra began his career in 1992 at Nordstrom and worked at the department store chain for six years. After a brief time at InterShoe, he joined the team at Kenneth Cole for a three-year stint as an account executive.

Then, in 2003, he joined The Jones Group Inc. as an account executive in the wholesale footwear group, rising through the ranks to his latest role. (At press time, it was not known who would replace him.)

Among his career accomplishments, Zamarra is credited with launching some of the most high-profile brands in Jones’ portfolio, including B Brian Atwood in 2011, Rachel Rachel Roy in 2009 and Rachel Roy in 2012. He also assisted in driving growth for the Enzo Angiolini, Boutique 9 and Joan & David labels. It is not known who will take over Zamarra’s role at Jones.

“I am pleased to have Roberto return to Kenneth Cole as part of our leadership team,” Cole said in a statement. “He is an accomplished footwear executive and brings extensive experience to the company that will enhance our elevated better footwear and handbag businesses.”

For his part, Zamarra said in a statement he was happy to be returning to the company and was eager to apply his skill set to growing the brand. “Having worked for the organization earlier in my career, this is a bit of a homecoming for me,” he said. “I look forward to getting entrenched in the business and identifying opportunities for growth immediately.”