As it turns 80 this year, Walter Steiger is making some big changes in personnel and distribution.
The luxury footwear firm has appointed Natascia Rendelli as GM for the U.S. business. Rendelli, who formerly served as VP of wholesale at Casadei and also worked for Giuseppe Zanotti Design and Aperlai Paris, will oversee all aspects of the French firm’s business in this country.
In addition, she will head up an aggressive push for its men’s collection. The brand, which previously sold its men’s shoes, starting at $700, exclusively at select Walter Steiger stores, plans to offer wholesale distribution of the men’s line to select retailers.
“[Rendelli’s] business knowledge is a vital tool to the company,” said VP and owner Paul Steiger. “She is a strong believer in the DNA of the brand and of Walter’s artistic vision. … With [that] vision in mind, Natascia will use her expertise and knowledge to address the growing Steiger presence in the States.”
Beyond introducing men’s to outside retail, Rendelli’s immediate goals include spearheading wholesale expansion for women’s, which is carried by majors such as Barneys New York, Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus.
“[I will make] intellectual, deliberate decisions when it comes to our desired points of sale,” Rendelli told Footwear News. “For me, it is about quality and never about quantity. It is [a] rare approach to wholesale expansion. … I also will use my business experience to streamline our product to fit the U.S. market’s needs.”