FN Spy: Blake Krueger’s Swift Moves… Footwear’s Marathon Men

Red Hot
Even Blake Krueger is a Taylor Swift fan. “We should all have a daughter like Taylor Swift,” said the Wolverine World Wide Inc. chairman, president and CEO. Krueger told Spy he’s had the privilege of meeting Swift and her parents while working on her ongoing Keds collaboration. He listens to her music now, too. “She’s incredible. I like her latest album, ‘Red,’ and her earlier two albums as well,” he confessed. But don’t be fooled. Krueger still stays true to his first music love, which is nothing like Swift’s country-pop vibe. “At heart, I’m a punk fan,” he said, noting that The Clash and The Ramones are two bands at the top of his playlist.

Sports Center
Reebok’s Uli Becker may have a hectic travel schedule, but he still makes sure to get his sports fix. The president of the Canton, Mass.-based athletic brand, who was shuttling between the FN CEO Summit and conferences in Europe, revealed to Spy he was keeping track of the NBA and NHL playoff action while on the road. “It hasn’t been a good year for the Celtics, but hopefully the Bruins will do better,” the exec said. “Soccer is my favorite sport, so that’s what I’ll really have my eye on.”

Run On
Alexandre Birman is putting his Iron Man races on hold for a different competition: the New York City Marathon. The designer said he will soon start training for the race, which is held in November, but his busy work schedule might get in the way (Birman recently took over as CEO of his family company). “I used to train for two hours a day, now I’m down to one,” he said. And Birman could have some friendly competition from the footwear industry on race day. “My wife and I are going to run [in New York] with Boston gear on,” said Tannery co-founder Tarek Hassan, who also ran the Boston Marathon last month.

Traveling Man
Tony Hsieh is a man of many words. After speaking at the FN Summit, Hsieh went straight to the airport to fly to Los Angeles for another presentation about his Downtown Project to revitalize part of Las Vegas. But like the initiative, which aims to combine the best of work and play, the Zappos.com CEO is next planning a trip with fellow execs Fred Mossler and Steve Hill for the July 4 holiday. “It’s our annual trip to Montana,” said Hsieh. “There is a ranch out there, and they bring the whole family. We stay for a week.” Afterward, the exec will head back to work on the Downtown Project, which currently features a tour through that part of Sin City, where Hsieh also lives. “The tour is in my apartment. It’s awkward when people are coming through and I’m in my PJs,” quipped Hsieh.

Family Ties
Charlotte Olympia Dellal had many fans in the summit audience, but one definitely stood out: her dad. Guy Dellal, one of his daughter’s biggest mentors, stopped by the Fontainebleau hotel on Tuesday to watch her presentation on stage. “He happened to be in town on business, and I was so happy because he’s always traveling and I don’t get to see him that often,” the designer said. Speaking of frenetic travel schedules, Dellal recently capped off a busy U.S. store tour with Neiman Marcus. She said, “I am looking forward to just being home in London.” She also is anticipating the birth of her third child this fall.

Is Matt Bernson Miami bound? The designer used his downtime during the summit to scout future store locations in Florida, although he first plans to open in Culver City, Calif., San Francisco and Chicago before setting his sights on Miami. “These are all the hot spots,” Bernson said of his retail options. And he might have some company. Nicholas Kirkwood also is interested in heading south, with Miami on his retail wish list. But more immediately, the designer is prepping to open a location at the Wynn Las Vegas, and he is considering debuting second units in New York and London, and opening in Asia and the Middle East.

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