Former DKNY Exec Launches New Business

David Stamberg is starting fresh.

The executive has launched his own company, Alpine Footwear Group LLC, a year after departing DKNY, where he served as SVP of sales and merchandising for men’s and women’s footwear. The new venture, a partnership with Jon Cook and Bob Cook of Englewood, N.J.-based footwear supplier CP International, will focus on designing, sourcing and marketing shoes in the juniors’ category, according to Stamberg.

“The immediate opportunity is in the juniors’ [market]. There is a lot of emphasis on the millenial customer in terms of how she shops, the price points she is going after and how much fashion she wants,” said the president and co-owner Alpine Footwear Group. Stamberg added that Alpine is a separate business from CP International but will be able to leverage that firm’s sourcing expertise.

Alpine’s first label in that category, Celebrity Pink, is set to debut during FFANY later this month. Footwear is also the first license for Celebrity Pink, a juniors’ apparel line that sells at department stores such as Macy’s, Belk and Dillard’s. Alpine will handle design, sourcing and manufacturing for Celebrity Pink footwear. Price points for the made-in-China shoes will range from $40 to $80, and Macy’s has already placed its first order, according to Stamberg.

“Celebrity Pink is an up-and-comer in the juniors’ world,” said Stamberg, who also has held positions at Kenneth Cole Productions Ltd. and Marc Fisher Footwear. “We went to [Celebrity Pink parent company 2253 Apparel Inc.] with a vision for the brand and where we saw opportunity. Retailers today are looking for synergies throughout [the labels in] their stores.” The collection, which will start with about 45 styles, including fashion sneakers, boots and heels, is set to hit shelves in May.

Alpine’s future plans include bringing girls’ and women’s shoes into the mix, as well as building the company’s nascent private-label business. As for launching his own label, Stamberg hinted, “Never say never,” but he added there are no immediate plans for an in-house brand. Instead, Alpine is looking at other possible licensors. “The goal is to make Alpine Footwear Group a multibranded design and distribution company that can represent to different layers of consumers.”

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