Insider: What Happens When CEOs Meet…

C-Suite Soiree
At Financo’s Annual Industry Seminar & Merchandising Chief Executives Cocktail Reception on Jan. 12, top dogs of the retail industry talked shop and occasionally traded digs. Banter between J.Crew’s Mickey Drexler and Neiman Marcus’ Burt Tansky was the main event, but Loehmann’s CEO Jerald Politzer was heard ribbing Bergdorf Goodman’s Jim Gold on the luxe shop’s deep discounts. “You have more on sale than I do!” he joked. Caught in the middle of the friendly fire was Andrew Rosen of Theory.

Blake Slate
Tapping into their tennis heritage, Fila has entered into a long-term licensing agreement with ATP World Tour star James Blake for a co-branded collection of tennis, golf and fitness-lifestyle footwear, accessories and apparel for men. Known for his speed on the court, Blake is currently the 10th ranked player in the world. Consumers will get a sneak peek at the product right before the 2009 U.S. Open in New York, followed by a full product launch in spring ’10. Additionally, James will wear the collection as well as other Fila products on court as part of the multi-year deal.

Browns Exclusives
As FN previously reported, luxury UK retailer Browns, is set to open its first 12,000-sq.-ft. standalone shoe store this spring on Brook Street in the Mayfair district of London. And the store will stock drool-worthy exclusives from top names including Nicholas Kirkwood, Rupert Sanderson, Balmain and Alegandro Ingelmo, to name a few. Gentlemen will have an added incentive to shop the store’s ground level, which will be devoted to men’s shoes, complete with a lounge with complimentary coffee and wireless laptop servive.

Generic’s Line
Launched just this month from the makers of Generic Man is Generic Surplus, a line of men’s shoes aimed at sneaker fans. Like Generic Man, Generic Surplus is focused on classic shoe shapes and simple lines, but at lower price points. The five different styles, including a boat shoe and high-top, are made in Korea and retail for $58 to $70. Available until March through Urban Outfitters, the line will be available in wider distribution thereafter.

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