NEW YORK — New and powerful names from all corners of the industry have signed on as speakers for the Footwear News CEO Summit next month.
The event, set for April 29 to May 1 at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach, has added industry veteran and philanthropist Kenneth Cole and Foot Locker EVP and COO Richard Johnson as keynote speakers. Cole will open the summit as part of the 2013 Fromm Leadership Forum, a Two Ten Footwear Foundation program made possible by Brown Shoe Co. Chairman Ron Fromm and his wife, Cheryl Fromm.
Cole will discuss his lifetime commitment to cause-related work — most notably through his efforts as chairman of AmfAR, the foundation for AIDS research.
Later during the summit, Johnson will take attendees inside Foot Locker’s campaign to become a more-formidable retailer with an aggressive omnichannel strategy, store rebranding and new women’s push.
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Two special panels also will take place in Miami. The first, a retail/designer discussion led by Elizabeth Kanfer, Saks Fifth Avenue’s senior fashion director for accessories, will explore the major opportunities in the burgeoning high-contemporary market. Designers Sophia Webster and Isa Tapia will reveal how they have carved out a unique position in the space with innovative design at competitive price points.
Footwear News Executive Editor Neil Weilheimer will moderate a panel that focuses on brand building. Featured participants include Clarks Cos. N.A. President Jim Salzano, who will share his take on how to keep heritage brands hot; Steven Tiller, co-founder and CEO of SeaVees, who will talk about bringing a storied California label back to life; and Libby Edelman, who will cover her long history in the business and resurrecting the Sam & Libby label.
As previously reported, there is an all-star list of speakers on board for the event, from Zappos.com chief Tony Hsieh and Brown Shoe CEO Diane Sullivan to The Jones Group Inc.’s chief creative officer, Stefani Greenfield. Top designers Charlotte Olympia Dellal and Nicholas Kirkwood will also take the stage.
Primary sponsors include Two Ten and The Footwear Distributors & Retailers of America. FDRA’s Matt Priest will be a presenter during the summit.
Limited space is still available for attendees. For more information, contact Kim Mancuso at 212-630-4212.