Camuto Group Hires International VP to Bolster Global Growth

The Camuto Group is expanding its global reach.

The Greenwich, Conn.-based firm has tapped footwear veteran Esther Brandwayn to oversee ambitious plans to boost the company’s international presence, effective Monday.

As international VP, Brandwayn, who has an extensive background in international business development, will spearhead The Camuto Group’s push to expand the scope of the company’s distributor relationships, extend the reach of the firm’s portfolio and manage the development of international stores and shop-in-shops.

She was most recently at Stuart Weitzman, where she worked for 22 years and developed strategies to increase global revenue.

“We have a wonderful U.S. business, and our international business is somewhat untapped,” said Camuto Group’s president Bob Galvin. “Esther brings a wealth of experience and an international connection to increase that.”

Plans for boosting the company’s global presence call for a substantial increase in branded Vince Camuto shops, with an early focus on the Middle East, Russia and Mexico. Currently, the company operates 20 Vince Camuto stores. It plans to open a total of 75 boutiques and shop-in-shops by the end of 2011 and another 75 doors the following year.

“There’s a lot of opportunity,” Brandwayn said. “The consumer is very educated. Lines like Jessica Simpson have such a powerful image, and Vince Camuto is so well known in the shoe business.”

Jessica Simpson, of which the Camuto Group is the master licensee, and Vince Camuto will be sold in the branded shops, Galvin said. Camuto Group products are currently sold in more than 5,400 doors worldwide.

“We’re just scratching the surface,” said Galvin.

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