The Top 100 Most Influential People In The Shoe Industry

Most Powerful People Shoe Industry
Ralph Lauren, Christian Louboutin, Phil Knight, François-Henri Pinault, Kanye West.
Getty Images.

The mighty get mightier. In a year when athletic fueled the industry, giants such as Nike and Foot Locker — and their fearless leaders — ruled the scene. The sport boom also paved the way for veteran players like the Greenbergs to take their Skechers empire to dramatic new heights. But skyrocketing sales aren’t the only indication of power.

Take a look at the social media prowess of Monsieur Louboutin, who has 5.6 million Instagram followers and counting. Then there are the fresh faces who are making big moves and generating buzz in the process. Saks Fifth Avenue’s new team, led by Marc Metrick, is repositioning the legendary department store — with footwear at the top of the agenda. The hottest emerging designers, including Edgardo Osorio and Paul Andrew, are injecting excitement into the high-end space.

Not to mention the year’s most innovative dealmakers. Federico Marchetti of Yoox Group is the new king of luxury e-commerce following his blockbuster deal with Internet darling Net-a-Porter. And Larry Paparo is rapidly expanding LJP with a killer licensing and acquisition strategy. Meanwhile, Sycamore Partners’ Stefan Kaluzny is buying (and selling) brands at a frenetic pace.

This year’s FN ranking pays tribute to an eclectic mix of game-changers, brand builders and longtime executives with staying power. Who made the list? Read on

1.

Phil Knight, 77
Mark Parker, 60
Chairman; CEO & President; Nike Inc.
The Swoosh continues to do it, setting a $50 billion revenue target by 2020. Parker will lead the way in reaching that goal as Knight relinquishes the chairman role. While Nike lost NBA star James Harden to Adidas, its athletic dominance continued this year, hitting big with its latest LeBron James and Kevin Durant shoes, and its first for Kyrie Irving, the Kyrie 1. Excitement around Converse’s Chuck Taylor All Star II hasn’t hurt, either.
Power Players: Jim Calhoun, Trevor Edwards, Larry Miller

2.

Blake Nordstrom, 55
Eric Nordstrom, 52
Pete Nordstrom, 53
Co-Presidents; Nordstrom Inc.
In May, the Nordstrom brothers were named co-presidents of their family’s retail empire, now encompassing 317 stores, with net sales of $6.7 billion in the first half of 2015. The restructuring reflects Nordstrom’s team-based, multichannel approach. The firm is driving sales at every level — opening full-line and Rack locations, expanding its online selection and boosting the Madewell business.
Power Players: Jeffrey Kalinsky, Scott Meden, Jamie Nordstrom

3.

Dick Johnson, 57
CEO & President; Foot Locker Inc.
With Johnson at the helm, Foot Locker is distancing itself from the competition. The retailer saw a 29 percent jump in profits in Q2, with total revenue of $1.7 billion. It also expanded its partnership spaces with vendors (Nike’s House of Hoops and Flyzone, Puma Labs), introduced the Nike Kicks Lounge and The Armoury with Under Armour, and built more stores in Western Europe.
Power Players: Jake Jacobs, Lauren Peters, Stacy Cunningham

4.

Diane Sullivan, 60
CEO, President & Chairman; Caleres Inc.
The highest-ranking female executive on our list made one of her boldest moves to date — rebranding the firm formerly known as Brown Shoe. Caleres also pumped up its contemporary roster and added Diane von Furstenberg to its licensed brands. Caleres continues to invest heavily in names like Sam Edelman and retail powerhouse Famous Footwear. Now, many insiders are waiting for Sullivan to make another buzzworthy acquisition.
Power Players: Rick Ausick, Sam Edelman, Jay Schmidt

5.

Robert Greenberg, 73
Michael Greenberg, 52
Chairman & CEO; President; Skechers USA Inc.
Skechers capitalized on momentum in casual-athletic footwear, tripling its share price and nabbing double-digit revenue gains each quarter so far this year. The Greenbergs also went after international markets, opening wholly-owned subsidiaries in Latin America and Central Eastern Europe. On the domestic front, Skechers sponsored the Los Angeles Marathon and added Sugar Ray Leonard and Meghan Trainor to its roster of celebrity endorsers.
Power Player: David Weinberg

6.

Blake Krueger, 62
Chairman, CEO & President; Wolverine World Wide Inc.
Tough times dogged Krueger this year, even into Q3, when overall profits and revenues dropped. While Sperry’s sales growth stayed flat, the brand remains a priority for the exec, as does strengthening consumer awareness of Merrell. Krueger will close more Stride Rite stores and has shed the Cushe brand to focus on higher-value labels Sperry, Keds, Merrell and Saucony.
Power Players: Jim Gabel, Ted Gedra, Michael Jeppesen, Andy Simister, Michael Stornant, Jim Zwiers

7.

Eric Wiseman, 60
Chairman & CEO; VF Corp.
Although VF took a break from acquisitions, its organic growth is red hot. The firm bowed new e-commerce platforms for Vans and Timberland and expects e-commerce to hit $600 million by 2016. Wiseman bumped company veteran Steve Rendle up to COO and president as revenues remained steady amid currency pressures. Both Vans and Timberland have enjoyed consistent double-digit growth.
Power Players: Steve Rendle, Scott Roe, Stewart Whitney, Kevin Bailey

8.

Christian Louboutin, 52
Designer & Principal; Christian Louboutin
#Louboutinworld tackled a ton of new territory. The Frenchman, who has more than 5 million Instagram followers, debuted lipstick this fall after opening his first standalone beauty boutique in Paris. Louboutin also bowed three storesin China, one in Singapore, one in Kuwait and another in Australia. Plus, the designer is abot the unveil his renovated Madison Avenue digs and is pushing handbags like never before for next spring.
Power Players: Alexis Mourot, Catherine Roggero

9.

Terry Lundgren, 63
Chairman & CEO; Macy’s Inc.
Although Team Lundgren battled slowing tourism, slumping sales and West Coast port issues in Q1 and Q2, the firm forged ahead with plans for international expansion — the exec signed a joint venture that will create Macy’s China Ltd. in Hong Kong — and omnichannel optimization. Lundgren will shutter 35 to 40 underperforming stores to focus on digital growth.
Power Players: Jeffrey Gennette, Muriel Gonzalez, Francine Klein, Tony Spring

10.

Steve Madden, 58
Ed Rosenfeld, 40
Creative & Design Chief; Chairman & CEO; Steve Madden Ltd.
Kicking off its 25th anniversary year with the Wall Street-approved acquisition of Blondo, Steve Madden is solidifying its reputation as a fashion-footwear powerhouse, though it still had to overcome trend softness for most of the year. The company saw 9 percent revenue growth in Q2, added 15 stores and partnered with rapper Ja Rule for a shoe line.
Power Players: Karla Frieders, Amelia Newton, Awadhesh Sinha

11.

Manolo Blahnik, 72
George Malkemus, 61
Founder & Designer; President; Manolo Blahnik USA
After more than 40 years in the business, the single-sole king isn’t slowing down. Blahnik and Malkemus made a splash during New York Fashion Week when they opened a boutique on Saks Fifth Avenue’s 10022-SHOE floor. That same week, the designer released a book, “Fleeting Gestures and Obsessions,” and received a major award from FIT. Blahnik, who still designs every shoe himself, also introduced bags and men’s footwear.
Power Player: Kristina Blahnik

12.

Jeff Bezos, 51
Tony Hsieh, 41

Founder & Chairman; Amazon.com; CEO; Zappos.com
Zappos toyed with a brick-and-mortar presence this year, opening pop-up shops around Las Vegas for the holidays and for the SJP Collection. The company also refocused on its Zappos Couture site and parted ways with Andre Leon Talley, the site’s former editorial director. Amazon has invested heavily in the past year in its one-hour and day-of delivery service in key markets such as Chicago, New York, Seattle and Phoenix.
Power Players: Steve Hill, Fred Mossler, Melissa Costa

13.

Karen Katz, 58
CEO & President; Neiman Marcus Group Inc.
Neiman Marcus filed for a much-anticipated IPO in August as a way to relieve its estimated $4 billion in debt. Wolverine executive Donald Grimes joined the company as EVP, COO and CFO, taking over for longtime exec Jim Skinner, who was named vice chairman. The company debuted more technology in-store, including a smart mirror and expanded e-commerce with its My Theresa acquisition.
Power Players: Ken Downing, Linda Fargo, Jim Gold, Jonathan Joselove, Josh Schulman

14.

Richard Baker, 49
Liz Rodbell, 58
Marc Metrick, 42
Gerald Storch, 58 
Chairman; Hudson’s Bay Co.; CEO; Hudson’s Bay Co. President; HBC Department Store Group; President; Saks Fifth Avenue
Saks moved to open a standalone shoe-concept store based on its 10022-SHOE floor, debuted an in-store boutique for Manolo Blahnik at its New York flagship an also brought on Tracy Margolies as chief merchant. Hudson’s Bay agreed to buy German retail giant Galeria Holdings. Lord & Taylor debited the private label Design Lab and introduced beacon technology at 140 stores.
Power Players: Margolies, Roopal Patel, MaryAnne Morin, David Law,

15.

Herbert Hainer, 61
CEO; Adidas Group
During a challenging year, Adidas had a few bright spots, releasing the biggest lifestyle and running shoes this year: the Yeezy Boost 350 and the Ultra Boost, respectively, as well as signing NBA superstar James Harden to a $200 million deal. Hainer, who cut ties with Rockport, plans to exit in 2017. A search is under way for his replacement.
Power Players: Eric Liedtke, Mark King, Roland Auschel, Matt O’Toole

16.

Jim Davis, 72
Rob DeMartini, 54

Chairman; CEO & President; New Balance
Under DeMartini, New Balance turned up the heat on the athletic world, launching its “Always in Beta” campaign — featuring 17 sponsored athletes in its initial “Storm” commercial — signing baseball’s Robinson Cano and extending its contract with tennis star Milos Raonic. The brand also mailed its first women’s-only catalogue to 1 million homes and opened its new Boston headquarters.

17.

Alex Del Cielo, 56
Louise Camuto, 45

CEO; Chief Creative Officer; Camuto Group
Following the death of company founder Vince Camuto, Del Cielo took on the chief executive role, and the firm has hardly skipped a beat, selling the Jessica Simpson master license to Sequential Brands Group and scoring deals with Nine West, AllSaints and Ellen DeGeneres. And Louise Camuto has raised her profile as the face behind the company.
Power Players: Ed Ferrell, JeffHowald, Julio Martini

18.

Pierre Denis, 51
Sandra Choi, 43

CEO; Creative Director; Jimmy Choo
From the red carpet to the set of “Empire” to the White House, Jimmy Choo conquered the celeb market like never before. The leaders of the luxe brand, which went public in London last year, opened 20 stores, including franchises, around the world. They also continued to push their men’s business, teaming up with Billboard on a “Music’s Men of Style” event.
Power Player: Brian Henke

19.

Diego Della Valle, 61
CEO & President; Tod’s
Most of the excitement this year had less to do with Tod’s, Roger Vivier, Hogan and Elsa Schiaparelli, though those brands are performing adequately, and more to do with controversy in Italy. Della Valle testified in court against a rival in the railway industry. In September, he also went on state TV to blast the closure of Rome’s Colosseum, a philanthropic soft spot since his $28.5 million restoration donation.
Power Players: Bruno Frisoni, Inès de la Fressange

20.

Bob Dennis, 61
Chairman, CEO & President; Genesco Inc.
Despite a later-than-usual start to back-to-school, Dennis’ 2,800-door retail empire recently upended Wall Street’s expectations with comp-sales growth and improved performance at once-ailing Lids Sports. Those results boosted the share price. With a solid performance at Journeys leading the way, the company is on pace for a strong fall and holiday selling season.
Power Players: Jim Estepa, Jon Caplan

21.

Michael MacDonald, 64
Debbie Ferrée, 62
CEO & President; Vice Chairman & CMO; DSW Inc.
The execs behind DSW kicked off the first half of 2015 with an 8.5 percent spike in revenue. DSW also acquired a minority stake in Town Shoes of Canada in late 2014 and opened its first Canadian storefronts this year. The company focused on omnichannel by updating its e-commerce platform.
Power Players: Jay Schottenstein

22.

Bernard Arnault, 66
Chairman & CEO; LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton
The luxury powerhouse continued its winning streak, growing revenues to 8.6 billion euros in Q3 (approx. $9.5 billion). Fueling growth at Nicholas Kirkwood, which celebrated its 10th anniversary, remains a priority, while Givenchy made waves with a NYFW debut to a star-studded audience that included Kanye West and Julia Roberts. Meanwhile, renewed interest in Louis Vuitton’s monogram offerings added another boost to revenues.
Power Players: Delphine Arnault, Antoine Arnault, Kirkwood, Phoebe Philo, Pierre-Yves Roussel

23.

François-Henri Pinault, 53
Björn Gulden, 50
Chairman & CEO; Kering; CEO; Puma SE
Speculation has abounded this year that Pinault is shopping both the Sergio Rossi and Puma brands. As of press time, neither rumor had panned out. There has, however, been plenty of upheaval in Kering’s designer ranks, as Alessandro Michele took over from Frida Giannini at Gucci, and Demna Gvasalia was just named Alexander Wang’s replacement at Balenciaga.
Power Players: Jean-FranÇois Palus, Jay Piccola

24.

Bob Campbell, 78
Chairman & CEO; BBC International
On the heels of celebrating his 40th year in business, Campbell’s perennial kids’ powerhouse is diversifying its brand roster. Ever the dealmaker, Campbell is eyeing more licenses — recently adding Ryka and Teva, to name a few — as well as pushing to own more brands. BBC is also furthering its international efforts, including a recent partnership in Hong Kong with
Pou Sheng International.
Power Players: Don Wilborn, Josue Solano, Seth Campbell

25.

Glenn Lyon, 64
Chairman & CEO; Finish Line Inc.
Though shares sank and sales took a hit after the most recent quarter’s results, Lyon wants to dominate digital — he hired Chief Omnichannel Officer Imran Jooma this year — and deepen the retailer’s roots in specialty shoes. Its acquisition-hungry running arm, the Running Specialty Group, bought JackRabbit Sports and soon after revealed that all 76 of the company’s specialty-running destinations will fly under that banner.
Power Players: Sam Sato, Bill Kirkendall

26.

Miuccia Prada, 66
Designer & Co-CEO; Prada
She opened the gilded Fondaziane Prada, a Rem Koolhaus-designed arts institution in Milan, complete with a retro café conceived by Wes Anderson. Though her influence remains strong, in the past two years, the brand’s sales and profits have taken a hit, which some analysts blame on a lack of entry-level-priced products. After long eschewing her own e-commerce, Prada began selling footwear, handbags and accessories online.
Power Player: Patrizio Bertelli

27.

Mindy Grossman, 58
CEO & Director; HSN Inc.
Grossman’s shopping network continues to curate its list of tastemaker sellers and brands, and brought on Wendy Williams to debut an apparel line. Even Ford Motor has hopped on the HSN bandwagon, using the channel to offer special prices on cars. Last year, HSN reported revenue of $3.6 billion.
Power Players: Bill Brand

28.

Doug McMillon, 49
CEO & President; Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
The firm lowered its profit estimates after it increased wages. E-commerce remains a priority for the retail giant — climbing 16 percent in Q2. The company also added three e-commerce fulfillment centers and took full control of its China e-business. On the executive front, McMillon promoted Brett Biggs to CFO.
Power Players: David Cheesewright, Greg Foran

29.

Mark Lee, 52
CEO; Barneys New York
Barneys stepped up its shoe game with Sole Series — eight collaborations with brands, including Adidas and Vans — as well as an exclusive men’s capsule from Christian Louboutin. The retailer’s shopable editorial site, The Window, launched a print magazine and a digital app.
Power Players: Dennis Freedman, Tomoko Ogura, Daniella Vitale

30.

Angel Martinez, 60
Chairman & CEO; Deckers Brands
With a sluggish stock price, slipping brand sales and Connie Rishwain’s exit from Ugg, Martinez has faced a few challenges. But he’s moved quickly to address them. Martinez shelved smaller brands Mozo and Tsubo and named Dave Powers president of the company. Since then, they’ve focused on omnichannel engagement and expanding in the fashion and casual markets.
Power Players: Powers, Jake Brandman, Jim Van Dine

31.

TIE: Dow Famulak, 54
President & COO; Global Brands Group Holding Ltd.
Since spinning off from Li & Fung last year, Global Brands has locked up
licensing deals with names such as Joe’s Jeans, Jones New York and Kate Spade. Footwear remains one of the firm’s fastest-growing segments. The Aquatalia label, which last week named Edmundo Castillo creative director, stepped back into the men’s market this fall and is preparing to open a retail store in New York. Meanwhile, four Frye shops opened this year, with six more on deck for 2016.
Power Players: Jim Gabriel, Adrienne Lazarus

31.

TIE: Kevin Mansell, 63
Chairman, CEO & President; Kohl’s Corp
Mansell boosted the chain’s digital profile this year. In addition to a redesigned app and mobile site, new features were rolled out, including an omnichannel shopping bag, same-day delivery and a retail model that personalizes the in-store experience. Thakoon was added to the chain’s DesigNation series.
Power Players: Michelle Gass, Chris Candee, Carol Baiocchi

32.

Kevin Plank, 43
Chairman & CEO; Under Armour
First, he took on the athletic giants. Now, he’s battling tech titans. In a bold move, Plank bought health-and-fitness tracking apps MyFitnessPal and Endomondo for $560 million. Plank also struck gold with perfectly chosen athletes on the rise. A sneaker deal with Golden State Warrior star and NBA MVP Stephen Curry translated into a retail bonanza, as did an endorsement agreement with professional golfer Jordan Spieth.
Power Players: Kip Fulks, Dave Dombrow

33.

Aldo Bensadoun, 76
Founder & Executive Chairman; Aldo Group Inc.
When Bensadoun hired Patrik Frisk away from VF Corp. last November to be CEO of Aldo, the founder was looking for a leader with a global vision. In his first months on the job, Frisk helped greenlight a high-tech in-store experience, a faster go-to-market strategy and an international expansion plan that could double the size of the company within five years.
Power Players: Frisk, Norman Jaskolka, David Bensadoun

34.

Marc Fisher, 57
Founder & CEO; Marc Fisher Footwear
His young business turned 10 this year, but that hasn’t stopped Fisher from acting like the industry veteran he is. In recent months, the company’s portfolio has jumped to 14 brands and licenses, including a big coup — scoring a deal with the most popular teens on the planet: Kendall and Kylie Jenner. Fisher spread the message socially in other ways, too, such as his philanthropic #makeyourmarc campaign, starring Karlie Kloss.
Power Players: Susan Itzkowitz, Terry Solis

35.

Jim Issler, 67
CEO & President; H.H. Brown Shoe Co.
Issler and team added another label to their roster with the launch of active-fashion brand Bionica, operating under the Sofft Shoe Co. umbrella. The executive extended his influence in the industry by becoming chairman of FFANY.
Power Players: Tom McClaskie, David Issler

36.

Bob Goldman, 73
Founder & CEO; Chinese Laundry
Goldman has been building his celeb biz. Kristin Cavallari, who has collaborated with the company for three years, expanded her collection at Nordstrom. International is also a priority, and the company will make sizable investments in e-commerce and social media in 2016.
Power Players: Tsering Namgyal, Stewart Goldman

37.

Kenneth Cole, 61
Executive Chairman & Chief Creative Officer;
Kenneth Cole Productions Inc.Cole is determined to revitalize his business. In February, he tapped Marc Schneider as CEO. Since then, the leaders have redesigned the brand’s logo and website, opened a concept store in downtown NYC and launched a multimedia campaign called “Courageous Class.” In a twist for Cole, the label’s ads will focus on product and brand first, with social messaging taking a backseat.
Power Player: Schneider

38.

Brian Cornell, 56
Chairman & CEO; Target Corp.
Target settled with Visa and MasterCard over its 2013 data-breach disaster, but its woes continued. After a money-losing foray into Canada, the retailer exited that market, shuttering its 133 stores there. But the chain scored on the fashion front: A 250-piece Lilly Pulitzer collaboration sold out in hours, and Target’s shoe departments nabbed exclusives with Aldo,
Stride Rite and Steve Madden’s Stevie’s label.
Power Players: Stacia Andersen, Trish Adams

39.

Pierre Hardy, 59
President; Pierre Hardy
Espadrilles sparked buzz for the Parisian designer. He launched a capsule collection with MatchesFashion.com featuring a hand-sewn version. There’s a big focus on expansion in Asia, including the opening of a Tokyo flagship. The designer also continues to collaborate with Hermès on footwear and hosted an accessories presentation for the house during Paris Fashion Week.
Power Player: Christopher Turnier

40.

Giuseppe Zanotti, 58
President & Creative Director; Giuseppe Zanotti Design
The designer made major retail moves this year, setting up shop in Dallas, Houston, Puerto Rico and Panama. The brand also dove deeper into China, bowing stores in Tianjin, Hong Kong and Quingdao. Taipei and Shanghai are next. To accommodate the growth, production capacity at Zanotti’s Italian factory is set to increase 25 percent. Overall sales are expected to reach 170 million euros (about $193 million).
Power Players: Eugenio Morselli, Alain Baume

41.

Massimo Ferragamo, 58
Vincent Ottomanelli, 49
Chairman; President; Ferragamo USA
The company celebrated its 100th anniversary this year and expanded its U.S. retail presence with a new flagship on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, Calif. While many luxury retailers have struggled in China in recent months, Ferragamo reported a 7 percent rise in revenue for Asia Pacific in the first half of 2015.
Power Players: Ferruccio Ferragamo, Michele Norsa

42.

Michael Kors, 56
Honorary Chairman & Chief Creative Officer; Michael Kors
The accessible-luxury powerhouse hit speed bumps as growth slowed and shares plunged. Retail remains a priority, with 774 stores worldwide. A new president for Japan, Daisuke Yamazaki, was brought on board, further boosting the label’s global presence.
Power Player: Anna Bakst

43.

Blake Mycoskie, 39
Founder & Chief Shoe Giver; Toms Shoes
The one-for-one evangelist keeps spreading good will. Mycoskie added bags to his line of shoes, eyewear and coffee, with the aim of delivering safe-birthing kits to moms in need. The exec, who opened a New York door in Soho in February, also kept dads in mind: He’s urging companies to offer paid paternity leave. Mycoskie took 12 weeks of leave this year when his son was born.

44.

Peter Harris, 52
President; Pedder Group
While Asia presented challenges, Pedder Group forged ahead, debuting a retail concept called Pedder on Scotts in Singapore’s vibrant Scotts Square. The 20,000-sq.-ft store houses 100 designers. The firm also ramped up its shoe biz at Lane Crawford — particularly in emerging cities like Chengdu — and deepened its retail partnerships with brands such as Christian Louboutin and Stuart Weitzman.
Power Players: Carmen Cheng, Su Kim

45.

Gianvito Rossi, 48
Designer & President; Gianvito Rossi
The lauded designer and retail darling had another strong year, with buyers reporting excellent results for the brand on the shop floor. The label opened its first North American location, on New York’s Madison Avenue, and will mark another milestone in 2016 when it celebrates the company’s 10th anniversary.

46.

Daniel Schwartz, 62
CEO; Schwartz & Benjamin Inc.
The company inked a licensing deal with Alice + Olivia on the heels of ending its relationship with longtime partner DVF. Schwartz’s son, Jake, was brought on to manage private-label brands. He’s the fourth generation to enter the family business.
Power Players: Barbara Schwartz, Steve Shapiro

47.

Mike George, 54
CEO & President; QVC Inc.
The home-shopping giant gained ammunition in its campaign to reach younger consumers with its parent firm’s acquisition of flash-sale site Zulily. Together, the brands boast more than $10 billion in revenue and 19 million customers. Last month, QVC celebrated a fashion legend, launching the H by Halston shoe-and-apparel collection. On the operations side, construction began on a West Coast distribution center to accommodate 20 percent of QVC’s U.S. business.
Power Players: Doug Howe, Ken O’Brien

48.

R. Stephen Rubin, 77
Andy Rubin, 50
Chairman; Pentland Group Plc; Chairman, Pentland Brands Plc
Pentland’s Lacoste and Ted Baker brands are ramping up their retail expansion. Lacoste will open a shop at New York’s World Trade Center next year, while Ted Baker boutiques are slated for Hawaii, Mexico and Malibu, Calif. Always diversifying, the U.K. firm, whose 2014 revenues hit $3.6 billion, invested in two fledgling businesses:
Tracksmith and Isa Tapia.
Power Players: Carrie Rubin, Dave Grange, John Williams

49.

Stefan Kaluzny
Co-Founder & Managing Director; Sycamore Partners
He’s a man on a mission. After buying most of the former Jones Group’s assets last year, Kaluzny made another fashion buy this year when he scooped up Belk for about $3 billion. The executive didn’t waste any time selling Stuart Weitzman, which Coach grabbed for $574 million. He’s now reportedly focused on divesting Kurt Geiger, another attractive acquisition target. Meanwhile, the footwear brands that were part of Jones’ portfolio — Nine West, Easy Spirit and others — are getting a makeover under Sycamore, who hired new executives and overhauled the brands’ strategies.
Power Players: Tim Belk, Neil Clifford, Pam Salkovitz, Jim Salzano

50.

Charlotte Olympia Dellal, 34
CEO & Creative Director; Charlotte Olympia
The designer launched a whimsical “Around the World” capsule collection and collaborations with both Havaianas and M.A.C. This was a big year for retail, too. Dellal bowed stores in Bangkok; Thailand; Las Vegas; Costa Mesa, Calif.; and opened a second shop in London. Overall, Dellal now has 10 shops.
Power Player: Bonnie Takhar

51.

Edward Stack, 60
Chairman & CEO; Dick’s Sporting Goods
Under Stack’s steady hand, the Dick’s Sporting Goods footprint continued to grow in 2015 as stores opened throughout the country at an accelerated pace. The company also launched Chelsea Collective, doors dedicated to female athletes, starting with two locations in August. In Q2, Dick’s reported double-digit gains in net income and revenues
of $1.82 billion.

52.

Victor Luis, 49
CEO; Coach Inc.
Coach began the year with a bang, snapping up Stuart Weitzman. The acquisition is already proving to be a boon to the bottom line, as it led the firm to better-than-expected results in the fourth quarter despite sluggish sales. Last month, Luis staged Coach’s first ready-to-wear show at New York Fashion Week, unveiling the 1941 luxury label, a centerpiece of the brand’s upcoming 75th anniversary year. The label also bowed its first Paris flagship.
Power Players: Stuart Vevers, Gebhard Rainer, Stuart Weitzman, Wayne Kulkin, Susan Duffy

53.

Ralph Lauren, 76
Executive Chairman & Creative Director; Ralph Lauren Corp.
After years as CEO of his namesake company, Lauren revealed last month that he will hand the business reins to Old Navy President Stefan Larsson. The firm also debuted its adaptive-technology PoloTech shirt and opened its first São Paulo store. The company’s net revenue for fiscal 2015 was $7.6 billion, with $4.8 billion from the U.S.
Power Players: Jacki Nemerov, Jerome Espinos, Valerie Hermann, Joel Oblonsky, Chris Peterson, David Lauren

54.

Carol Meyrowitz, 61
Chairman & CEO; The TJX Cos. Inc.
While TJX was hit with a class action over its “compare at” pricing, the discount giant had plenty of good news for investors. Second-quarter comp sales soared 6 percent, boosted by brisk store traffic and strong gains from global markets, including Canada and Europe. With its July acquisition of the 35-store chain Trade Secret, the firm planted its flag in Australia. Succession plans were also put in motion: Ernie Herrman will take over as CEO from Meyrowitz in January.

55.

Marvin Ellison, 50
CEO; JCPenney Co. Inc.
JCPenney bucked the sinking department-store trend in Q2 with comp gains and revenue growth despite an industrywide slowdown. In addition to narrowing the firm’s losses by 20 percent, Ellison grew his digital team, adding Home Depot omnichannel executive Mike Amend and Target supply-chain head Mike Robbins. He also promoted John Tighe to chief merchant.
Power Players: Jodie Johnson, Tighe

56.

Jerry Stritzke, 55
CEO & President; REI Inc.
Recognizing urban millennials’ love for “instant outdoors,” REI launched its Evrgrn label, boasting everything from backpack coolers to picnic tables, rugs and more. The company also announced that it’s moving its Redmond, Wash., location to a larger storefront —roughly 40,000 square feet — in the Bellevue Central Shopping Center next year to better serve the Puget Sound area, which has more than 485,000 active REI members.

57.

Maria Grazia Chiuri, 51
Pierpaolo Piccioli, 48
Co-Creative Directors; Valentino
Since taking over the reins in 2008, the duo has built up consistently strong footwear categories. Though the brand is known for the Rockstud style, it has also enjoyed new hits, including women’s strappy gladiator and laceup sandals and the men’s Open sneaker. This year also saw the debut of Valentino’s largest flagship in Rome, coming in at almost 16,000 square feet.

58.

Marc Jacobs, 52
Co-Founder & Creative Director; Marc Jacobs International
After folding his lower-cost Marc by Marc Jacobs line into the core collection, the luxury designer will introduce a more inclusive offering for spring ’16. His recent over-the-top Americana-themed runway show in New York was certainly a crowd-pleaser, reportedly taking inspiration from Jacobs’ own Instagram account, which has amassed 323,000 followers since he joined in March.

59.

John Varvatos, 61
Chairman & Chief Creative Officer; John Varvatos Enterprises Inc.
The designer was all about home this year. After debuting a 4,000-sq.-ft. flagship this spring in his hometown of Detroit (with help from Kate Upton and Alice Cooper), Varvatos brought his runway presentation to the States for the inaugural New York Fashion Week: Men’s event in July. And for fall ’15, he opted to take his accessories business back in-house.

60.

Millard “Mickey” Drexler, 71
Chairman & CEO; J.Crew Group Inc.
Drexler is bringing J.Crew back to its roots after a rocky year. In June, he laid off 175 corporate employees and named Somsack Sikhounmuong head of women’s design following disappointing financial losses. For the fall 2015 season, the brand moved its product offerings away from higher-priced merchandise and put more emphasis on the label’s heritage items, including ballet flats. The company also introduced Mercantile, a lower-priced division.
Power Players: Sikhounmuong, Joyce Lee, Jenna Lyons

61.

Jim Weber, 55
CEO & President; Brooks Sports
In 2014, Brooks reached a half-billion dollars in sales and moved into its Seattle headquarters, using that momentum to cater to runners and sneakerheads in 2015. The brand launched its Booster Club, funding 25 under-resourced high school cross country and track teams, and its Brooks Heritage label delivered popular collabs with retailers such as Bait and Concepts.
Power Players: Dan Sheridan, Anne Cavassa

62.

TIE: Karl-Johan Persson, 40
Managing Director & CEO; Hennes & Mauritz (H&M)
Persson is pushing the pace of H&M’s fast-fashion takeover, opening the chain’s largest flagship, at 63,000 square feet, in New York. The company also bowed a store in India, will expand in Africa and invested further in sister stores COS and And Other Stories. H&M had two hot collaborations this year, with Alexander Wang and Balmain.

62.

TIE: Jack Ma, 51
Founder & Executive Chairman; Alibaba Group
Ma is making good on his promise to expand his Chinese e-tail behemoth in the U.S. He appointed Goldman Sachs partner Michael Evans president of Alibaba Group and opened a cloud-data center for Aliyun in Silicon Valley. The company did come under scrutiny for excessive counterfeit goods found on its Taobao market — and was sued by the American Apparel & Footwear Association and luxury-goods makers.
Power Players: Daniel Zhang, Peng Lei

63.

Oliver Reichert, 44
Markus Bensberg, 51
Co-CEOs; Birkenstock Group
The brand continues to ring the register with its iconic sandals, as well as new closed-up styles. Production nearly broke the 20 million-pair mark five years ahead of plan. The shoemaker
celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Zurich style with new colors and materials for fresh appeal. The brand also introduced a hosiery line.
Power Players: David Kahan, Dieter Klingenberg, Yvonne Piu

64.

Alexandre Birman, 39
CEO; Arezzo & Co.; Founder & Creative Director; Alexandre Birman
The company is expanding on all fronts. The designer’s namesake brand, fueled by its hit Clarita sandal, has seen strong sales at Saks Fifth Avenue and Bergdorf Goodman. Now, Birman is diversifying the label with new materials and silhouettes. And Arezzo & Co.’s Schutz stores are shining, especially in NYC, while e-commerce sales have increased.

65.

Dieter Kasprzak, 65
CEO; Ecco Sko
Ecco opened the doors to a store on Oxford Street in London, delivering an advanced retail concept. In a move to capture a larger share of younger consumers, Kasprzak pushed to add sneakers. The next generation of comfort heels for women is also in the works, slated to bow next August.
Power Players: Dave Quel, Andreas Wortmann, Michael Krol

66.

Sophia Webster, 30
Founder & Creative Director; Sophia Webster
Webster’s buzzy year included the debuts of a bridal line and a Barbie collaboration. The brand’s website was redesigned and relaunched, and e-commerce sales hit 1 million pounds (about $1.5 million). Webster has also racked up more than 480,000 Instagram followers and is prepping to open her first brick-and-mortar store.

67.

Mandy Cabot, 61
CEO & President; Dansko
Dansko celebrated its 25th anniversary with a renewed focus on its existing channels of distribution, with faster order-fulfillment processes, expanded lifestyle and heritage categories and product launches that included Work Wonders by Dansko — footwear designed for medical professionals that feature slip-resistant outsoles and wipe-clean uppers.
Power Players: Peter Kjellerup, Mimi Curry, Jim Fox

68.

Greg Tunney, 54
CEO & President; RG Barry Brands
Dearfoams teamed with anti-bullying organization STOMP Out Bullying. The partnership is in conjunction with the launch of a slipper line for teens while also encouraging them to take a stand against bullying via Dearfoams’ #BeComfortableBeYou social media campaign. The brand is getting a style infusion from Theresa Kladney, its newly named VP of footwear design. And Tunney furthered Dearfoams’ reach internationally, with Mexico getting the biggest push.
Power Players: Lee Smith, Jeff Cosgrove

69.

TIE: David Miller, 59
Scott Sessa, 56
CEO; President; Minnetonka Moccasin Co.
This company rallied around the 60th anniversary of the Thunderbird moc, a style that began as a gift-store staple and morphed into a global fashion must-have. Tapping into the brand’s ongoing popularity, Miller and Sessa oversaw fall/holiday collaborations with women’s apparel label Maje and retailer Opening Ceremony.

69.

TIE: Isabel Marant, 48
Owner & Designer; Isabel Marant
The opening of her new flagship in San Francisco marked Marant’s third store location in the U.S. The designer also inked a deal with Hong Kong-based distribution company ImagineX to expand the brand’s presence in China. Despite the rising status of styles like the Bart trainer, Marant’s newer designs have yet to reach the icon status of her sneaker wedges.

70.

Yehuda Shmidman, 34
CEO; Sequential Brands Group Inc.
Shmidman orchestrated the ultimate power grab in 2015 with a series of well-timed moves. Sequential ramped up its footwear presence, acquiring a majority stake in the billion-dollar
Jessica Simpson brand, and created a top-tier portfolio when it added Joe’s denim and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia to the mix.
Power Players: Eddie Esses, Rick Platt, Jameel Spencer

71.

Joe Ouaknine, 62
Chairman; Titan Industries
Ouaknine landed some new leading ladies. The company debuted Daya, a shoe line with actress and musician Zendaya, for a buzzed-about spring ’16 launch. To celebrate, Ouaknine hosted a FFANY event with CEO Andrea Bernholtz, who arrived earlier in the year. Meanwhile, Gx by Gwen Stefani continues to gain ground, and now the team is teasing a launch with another famous face next year.
Power Players: Bernholtz, Brad Bailey

72.

Tabitha Simmons, 44
Founder & Designer; Tabitha Simmons
Simmons, who won 2015’s CFDA Accessory Designer of the Year award, got serious about her business this year, lowering prices and focusing on market-right volume drivers, such as the popular Leticia sandal. She also brought on a CEO, Irina Topuria, launched e-commerce and collaborated with designer Roksanda Ilincic on her most recent runway footwear.

73.

Ezra Dabah, 62
CEO; Nina Footwear Corp.
The company grew sales in its daytime category, Nina Originals, while Nina inked contracts with international distributors. A new sample factory bowed in China, as well as a secondary office to support the company’s private-label shoe business. A revamped image campaign debuted on Ninashoes.com, followed by investments in technology to improve navigation.
Power Players: Alan Johnson, Cherie Blum, Nina Miner

74.

TIE: Geralyn Breig, 53
President; Clarks Americas
The Cloudsteppers women’s collection, which launched in July, is the company’s most successful introduction in recent years. And looking back, Clarks celebrated the 65th anniversary of its Desert Boot and 190 years of shoemaking. The company also broke ground on its soon-to-be new headquarters in Waltham, Mass.

74.

TIE: Gene McCarthy, 59
CEO; Asics America
Industry veteran McCarthy, who joined the company this month, replaced exiting CEO Kevin Wulff. So far, the executive shuffle hasn’t affected sales, which were up 6.1 percent for the last-reported quarter. In March, Asics opened its new Irvine, Calif., headquarters and celebrated the 30th Asics LA Marathon. Over the summer, it released its innovative Gel-Quantum 360.

75.

Edgardo Osorio, 29
Founder & Designer; Aquazzura
Since launching in 2010, the Colombia-born designer has gone from emerging to establishment at lightning speed. This year saw the opening of his first two standalone boutiques — one in his
Florence, Italy, base and the other in London’s Mayfair neighborhood. Plans are under way for a New York outpost in 2016.

76.

TIE: Truman Kim, 50
Larry Remington, 63
Chairman; CEO & President; K-Swiss Global Brands
The company completed its first year under E.Land World Ltd. in 2014, and in 2015 K-Swiss Global Brands did some acquiring of its own. K-Swiss’ brand roster grew to six, including skate staples Supra and KR3W, which the company picked up in June. And Remington is believed to be on the hunt for more brands.
Power Players: Barney Waters, Robert Capener

76.

TIE: Jack Silvera, 72
Founder & CEO; Dynasty Footwear
Silvera expanded Dynasty-owned Seychelles Footwear into the fashion category, including the launch of two brands. The wider offerings resulted in accounts with Hudson’s Bay, Lord & Taylor and Macy’s Herald Square. Additionally, Silvera inked deals with Skinmint and China’s Golden Eagle Retail Group. It also entered the luxury market with Eight Fifteen.
Power Players: Sari Ratsula, Lance Giroux, David Adler

77.

William Dillard, 70
Chairman & CEO; Dillard’s Inc.
Although Dillard was disappointed by flat revenues in Q2, improvements in comparable-store sales kept the CEO upbeat. The firm was able to return $208 million to shareholders under its share-repurchase program, but continued declines in the company’s stock price mean market watchers have been sidelined.
Power Players: Alex Dillard, Mike Dillard

78.

Paul Jones, 54
CEO; Payless ShoeSource
Jones is thinking big. The discount chain rolled out 16 locations under its super-store format — introduced in 2012 — bringing the count to 26. More than double the size of a typical store, at 6,800 square feet, the design allows for wider aisles and a broader assortment. E-commerce sales got a big boost from the firm’s move to put its entire inventory online, enabling ship-from-store service for U.S. customers.
Power Players: Steve Gish, Ginny Peterson, Mike Vitelli

79.

Mario Polegato, 63
Chairman; GEOX S.p.A.
Leading the company in the U.S. is newly named President Tracy Smith. In the first half of 2015, revenues climbed 7 percent, to 490 million euros (about $556 million). The company recently invested in a manufacturer in Serbia that will produce approximately 5 percent to 10 percent of Geox’s shoes to reduce lead times for replenishment of best-selling products.
Power Players: Giorgio Presca, Smith

80.

Federico Marchetti, 46
CEO; Yoox Net-a-Porter Group
In a huge move for the luxury e-commerce space, Marchetti orchestrated a major deal between Yoox and Net-a-Porter. The two merged to form an online powerhouse with estimated combined yearly revenue of $1.4 billion. Net-a-Porter founder and CEO Natalie Massenet departed, and Yoox Net-a-Porter Group began trading on Milan’s stock exchange this month.
Power Players: Alison Loehnis, Alberto Grignolo

81.

Patrick Chalhoub, 57
Co-CEO; Chalhoub Group
Level Shoe District in Dubai garnered more buzz this year with designer partnerships, exclusive collabs and the expansion of men’s. Overall, the Middle Eastern powerhouse operates more than 650 retail stores across 14 countries in the region and employs 12,000 people. Looking ahead, it’s likely that Chalhoub will tap into omnichannel opportunities as its consumer becomes more digitally savvy.
Power Player: Rania Masri

82.

Paul Andrew, 36
President & Chief Creative Officer; Paul Andrew
On the heels of his CFDA Vogue Fashion Fund Award win, 2015 proved to be a major year for Andrew, who collaborated with seven designers (including Tanya Taylor and Rosie Assoulin) for
New York Fashion Week and London Fashion Week. He also recently debuted a bridal collection. For spring ’16, sales are expected to soar 150 percent over those of spring ’15. The brand is sold at roughly 100 doors worldwide.

83.

Gene Yoon, 70
Jon Epstein, 60
Global Chairman & CEO; Fila; President; Fila North America
Fila underwent restructuring in 2015, changing its Fila USA division to Fila North America, adding Mexico and Canada to its distribution channel and installing a new CEO for Fila Korea, Kim Jin-Myun. The company also worked to boost Fila’s profile, signing deals with fitness celebrity Shaun T for Kohl’s and teaming up with Urban Outfitters for an exclusive lifestyle capsule collection.

84.

Patrick Mooney, 46
President; Footwear Unlimited Inc.
Under Mooney, the company saw its Andrew Geller business jump 20 percent, while Latigo was up 10 percent. E-commerce was also a focus, with sales expected to rise at least 50 percent. In another move, the company stepped into the kids’ market with a licensing deal for girls’ BareTraps footwear with LJP International.
Power Players: Nick Licovoli, John Rimmer

85.

TIE: Cliff Sifford, 62
CEO, President & Chief Merchandising Officer; Shoe Carnival
Healthy earnings, powered by higher merchandise margins and lower advertising expenses, have Shoe Carnival nearing the billion-dollar sales mark. Sifford is leading the 400-door retailer into non-big city markets with store concepts in the 5,000-sq.-ft. range, compared with its traditional 10,000-sq.-ft. units. Sharpening the firm’s Shoes 2 U initiative will also help create the appearance of endless aisles.
Power Player: Carl Scibetta

85.

TIE: Kanye West, 38
Designer; Kanye West
While West polarizes public opinion, his sales results speak for themselves. Yeezy releases dominated the sneaker market in 2015 — demand for Wests Adidas Yeezy 350 black colorway caused worldwide servers to crash and sparked extraordinary re-sale value that resulted in retailers providing security to escort buyers safely out of stores.
Power Player: Virgil Abloh

86.

Tim Boyle, 66
CEO; Columbia Sportswear Co.
The outdoor company shifted its executive ranks, with Boyle’s son Joe named SVP of Columbia brand merchandising and design, and Mark Nenow becoming president of Sorel. Columbia also launched its “Tested Tough” campaign, reminiscent of its classic “Tough Mother” ads featuring the CEO’s mother — and current Chairman — Gert Boyle.
Power Players: Nenow, Bryan Timm, Joe Boyle

87.

Rebecca Minkoff, 34
Uri Minkoff, 40
Co-Founder & Creative Director; Co-Founder & CEO; Rebecca Minkoff
The brother-sister duo tackled new digital territory, leading the way in the fashion space. After debuting an interactive store in New York City last year, the company opened doors in Los Angeles and Hong Kong. Capitalizing on buzz in the men’s market, Uri Minkoff launched footwear for his namesake collection. Beyond the business, the Minkoffs partnered with Intel on an initiative to recruit more young women to the tech space.

88.

TIE: Paul Grangaard, 57
CEO & President; Allen Edmonds
The company expanded its retail footprint with two stores in the Washington, D.C., area and two in China. A new e-commerce site featuring more youthful looks debuted to better connect with millennials, while Grangaard put great emphasis on re-energizing the core refined dress footwear business.
Power Players: Jim Kass, Colin Hall, Meg Hopkins

88.

TIE: Marcio Moura, 44
Carla Schmitzberger, 53
President; Global Director & Head of Sandals Division; Alpargatas USA
The brand headed to Walt Disney World, becoming the theme park’s official flip-flop sponsor. The company also continued to build its U.S. presence, to eight stateside stores. And Havaianas added a new category — eyewear — which will launch next year with Italian company Safilo Group.

89.

Thomas Florsheim Jr. 57
John Florsheim, 52
Chairman & CEO; COO; Weyco Group Inc.
While the Florsheims’ U.S. business was strong, overseas sales were pressured by currency issues. The iconic Florsheim label got a style boost thanks to a collaboration with George Esquivel. It also opened a store in Santiago, Chile, and moved into duty shoes with Nunn Bush Work. Separately, the growing Bogs weatherproof brand named Justin Combs president.
Power Players: Brian Flannery, Mike Bernsteen, Kevin Schiff, Combs

90.

TIE: James Seuss, 52
CEO; Hunter Boot Ltd.
Under Seuss, Hunter is moving full force into the digital age. The U.K. heritage brand live-streamed its spring ’16 London Fashion Week show via Periscope. The Hunter Field category, launched for spring ’15, focuses on innovative technologies in performance footwear styles, including Vibram soles.
Power Players: Alasdhair Willis, Benedict Smith

90.

TIE: Mike Shirey, 43
CEO & President; Highline United
Shirey and shaking things up seem to go hand in hand. The exec boosted operations this year by exiting brands — he closed the Luxury Rebel label and ceased distribution for Julian Hakes — and setting up a new production facility in China. Shirey also expanded the firm’s in-house design studio.
Power Player: Jennifer Malatesta

91.

Bernard Leifer, 70
CEO & President; SG Cos.
With a steady hand, Leifer grew the firm’s licensing roster with Chinese Laundry slippers and Dickies workboots for children. Sleepwear proved to be a lucrative category with the acquisition of Wormser Co. and the addition of the Warner Bros. portfolio of licensed brands. To house the new products, Leifer opened a larger showroom in New York.
Power Players: Elisa Gangl, Tom Zito, Mark Starace

92.

Robert Bensoussan, 55
Majority owner; Sirius Equity LLP
L.K. Bennett continued its march into America. The brand opened a high-profile store on Madison Avenue, its third Big Apple location and 11th U.S. door. The label, which collaborated with model and Vogue writer Laura Bailey for spring, also teamed up with street-style photographer Scott Schuman of The Sartorialist blog to shoot the fall campaign. And L.K. Bennett moved its headquarters to a former garment factory in London’s trendy Shoreditch neighborhood.

93.

Larry Paparo, 48
CEO & President; LJP International
Paparo has turned his once small operation into a formidable multi­brand player. LJP scored licenses for Italian luxury label Bruno Magli, which is gearing up for a global relaunch this spring, as well as BareTraps and Limited Too in the kids’ category. To keep up with the expansion, Paparo nearly doubled the size of his Edison, N.J., headquarters, adding a design studio, and opened a showroom in New York.

94.

TIE: Marcia Kilgore, 47
Founder, FitFlop
FitFlop focused on new markets this year, as the former beauty biz entrepreneur expanded into Brunei, Burma, Greece, Panama, Venezuela and Vietnam. In March, in a move to boost her U.S. business, Kilgore named Douglas Jakubowski North America president of FitFlop. The company, which remains focused on biomechanics, is also doing some good with the November release of a slipper to benefit Habitat for Humanity.

94.

TIE: Gregg Ribatt, 47
CEO; Crocs Inc.
In a string of management changes, Ribatt took over as CEO, just in time to enjoy the fanfare over a photo of Prince George wearing the brand’s iconic plastic clogs. The CEO’s agenda includes narrowing the company’s range of businesses and reducing both the door count and Crocs’ geographic footprint to improve results. The brand continues to attract celebrities, with stylist Patricia Field putting her unique spin on a series of Crocs looks.
Power Players: Andrew Rees, Michelle Poole

95.

Michael Katz, 64
CEO & President; Matisse Footwear
Connections are key for Katz. His Matisse women’s brand debuted a much-talked-about collab with Kate Bosworth this summer and inked a fall ’16 partnership with Understated Leather for a capsule boot line. Direct-to-consumer sales quadrupled in the last year on Matisse’s e-commerce site, and the label expanded overseas into the U.K., the EU and Japan.
Power Players: Sheena Parks, Tom Ferguson

96.

Michael Muskat, 68
Rick Muskat, 64
President; EVP; Deer Stags Concepts Inc.
After celebrating the company’s 50th anniversary last year, the Muskat brothers remain focused on moving forward: The family-run firm implemented an e-commerce planning team to manage its fast-growing online business. Rick Muskat also became chairman of the FDRA.

97.

Mark Schwartz, 58
CEO; Palladin Consumer Retail Partners LLC
The founder of the private equity firm is ensuring that his investments pay off by installing new leadership. He appointed industry veteran Shawn Neville CEO of Aerosoles last month with a goal of improving the comfort label’s fashion relevance. And Steven Newey, who became CEO at Harrys of London in June, has been busy rolling out stores worldwide.
Power Players: Neville, Newey

98.

Michael Gionfriddo, 63
CEO & President; Vibram USA
Although the company had a temporary shakeup when CEO Antonio Dus departed suddenly in May, Gionfriddo kept a steady hand on the brand’s product launches and initiatives. Vibram acquired its U.S. manufacturing and distribution partner, Quabaug Corp., in June, and its latest Megagrip compound continued to appear on footwear from performance brands, including The North Face and Arc’teryx.

99.

Don Weiss, 60
Stephen Hoyt, 67
Owner & President; Owner & Head of Design; Blowfish Malibu
The juniors’ brand is beefing up its team. Designers are now on the ground in Europe to focus on more fashion-forward footwear, and another creative hire was brought on board to focus on kids, which was re-launched with an updated logo. Partnerships are top of mind, too: This year, Weiss and Hoyt partnered with CBS’ teen movie “The Duff.”
Power Player: Greg Kearns

100.

Cathy Taylor, 59
CEO & President; Millennial Brands
Rocket Dog has a new — and growing — family. The juniors’ brand is now housed under Taylor’s recently formed Millennial Brands, and the company quietly acquired Pour La Victoire and Kelsi Dagger Brooklyn to further boost its contemporary presence. The additions strengthened the L.A.-based Millennial’s presence on the East Coast, with an expanded New York showroom and 40 new employees. Internationally, the brands will be based in a London design studio.