2013 Power Players: 14 Independent Retailers

In addition to our Power 100 list, Footwear News also singled out several other footwear executives that kept the industry on its toes this year, including these independent retailers. 

RELATED STORY: FN’s 2013 Power 100 >>

Tarek Hassan; Sam Hassan
Co-owners; The Tannery, Concepts
The iconic retailer has faced highs and lows this year, from celebrating 40 years in business to temporarily closing one store after the Boston Marathon bombing. Still, the Hassans continue to evolve: A London pop-up is planned for January, an expansion of the 711 Boylston location is in the works and a Big Apple store remains on the agenda.

Danny Wasserman; Lester Wasserman

CEO; Tip Top Shoes, Tip Top Kids; Owner; West
Danny Wasserman is on the hunt for a second kids’ location based on the success of the Upper West Side shop in Manhattan. He appointed his daughter, Margot Wasserman, as VP of operations for Tip Top Kids. Her brother, Lester, continued to expand West’s profile through hot collabs with brands such as New Balance and Saucony.

Laure Heriard Dubreuil
CEO, Co-founder; The Webster
A footwear fanatic, Dubreuil scours the globe for exclusive styles for her trendsetting Miami boutique. This year, she differentiated the mix further through high-profile collaborations with such designers as Pierre Hardy. Now, Dubreuil aims to expand the Webster name further with a second store — a 2,600-sq.-ft. women’s-only boutique — at the upscale Bal Harbour Shops in Bal Harbour, Fla.

Isack Fadlon
Co-owner; Sportie LA
Sportie LA’s showroom space, The Tastemaker Lounge, has helped strengthen the retailer’s partnership with vendors. (Ugg Australia will soon use the area as a holiday gift lounge.) Fadlon also is working on special projects with brands including Crocs, Keds, Pony and Brooks, and he continues to grow the store’s monthly street fair, F.A.M.E.

Carol Lim; Humberto Leon
Co-founders; Opening Ceremony
Opening Ceremony upped its game with its first solo New York Fashion Week show and pop-up shop. Its longtime collaboration with Chloë Sevigny is going strong, and the label teamed up with Derek Blasberg and Yoko Ono. Up next is a Tokyo store, an expansion of its Howard Street location in New York and a new unit at New York’s Pier 57, set for 2015.

Maurice Breton
President; Comfort One Shoes
In his 20th year in business, Breton unveiled a Comfort One Shoes door in the Potomac Town Center in Woodbridge, Va. He also launched a replenishment program to make sure key styles are always in stock. In 2014, the chain plans to opening a 20th store.

Beth Buccini; Sarah Easley
Co-owners; Kirna Zabête
After 14 years in business, Buccini and Easley opened a new flagship in 2013, blocks from Kirna Zabête’s original location. The 10,000-sq.-ft. space is twice as large, with three to four times the selling space. As the duo expanded their footprint, they also upped the ante on footwear. Moving beyond their luxury mix, the owners worked with Nine West on a capsule collection that generated buzz among fashion insiders.

Ronnie Fieg
Owner; Kith
This year, Fieg took New York-based Kith on the road with a pop-up that introduced the store’s blend of sneakers and high-end men’s exclusives to Miami. Based on the reception, he’s planning more pop-ups for 2014. The retailer also partnered with Puma, Del Toro and Asics for attention-grabbing collaborations.

Peter Hanig

President; Hanig’s Footwear
As brick-and-mortar sales have slowed, the Chicago-based company has focused more heavily on e-commerce. A beefed-up staff has been charged with expanding online sales, in addition to social media and e-mail efforts.

David Zaken
Owner; David Z
For David Zaken, less is more. The retailer decided to focus on his six highest-performing stores this year, and in turn, shuttered three spread across New York and New Jersey. He also introduced a private label men’s collection, No Difference, for fall ’13. Moving forward, Zaken is looking to expand his Las Vegas location.