Each day in June, FN is highlighting female forces in the industry as part of our Women in Power series.
With 20-plus years in the shoe industry and now at the helm of a footwear powerhouse firm with popular brands such as Kendall + Kylie, Ivanka Trump and Guess in its stable, Marc Fisher Footwear president Susan Itkowitz has a few tried-and-true tactics for getting things done.
The executive previously sharpened her shoe acumen and leadership skills as group president of Nine West before helping former colleague Marc Fisher get his new venture, Marc Fisher Footwear, off the ground in 2005.
Here, Itzkowitz talks career milestones and mentoring other women in the workplace.
What was the biggest breakthrough moment in your career?
“Joining Marc in starting Marc Fisher Footwear was a very special opportunity. To build a great company from the ground up has been exciting and hugely fulfilling. Building a team and a culture has been the most rewarding. Marc Fisher Footwear has proven to be the most important venture in my professional life thus far.”
Is there anything you would have done differently?
“I’m sure there are things that I could have done differently, but it may not have led me to the same outcome. I’m very happy where I am, so I have no regrets.”
Do you think women do enough to support other women in the workplace? Why or why not?
“I think there’s always an opportunity to provide more support and mentorship. We’ve made significant strides in the workforce lately. By mentoring young women on the rise, we’re bound to see even greater progress. It’s important that we lead by example and foster a community of collaboration rather than one of competition.”
What is the biggest challenge you faced in the last year, and how did you overcome it?
“We recently acquired Easy Spirit, a comfort footwear brand. The acquisition has given us the unique and challenging opportunity to reinvigorate and refocus an iconic brand. Our team has gone above and beyond to successfully navigate the transition and to begin moving Easy Spirit forward in a new and very positive direction.”
Looking back, what advice would you give to your younger self?
“I would remind my younger self that your career path doesn’t always go as planned. Don’t be afraid to take a risk — sometimes it leads to a more exciting place.”