Steve Madden Announces Executive Moves

New York-based fashion-footwear company Steve Madden Ltd. has promoted two of its longtime employees to the newly created roles of president and chief merchandising officer.

Amelia Newton Varela, who has been at Madden for more than 17 years, has been named president, and Karla Frieders, a 16-year veteran, has been appointed chief merchandising officer, the company said in a release Tuesday.

“Amelia and Karla started with the company when they were just out of school — Amelia in customer service and Karla in the stores,” wrote Steve Madden, founder and creative and design chief, in a release. “Over the years, I’ve been proud to watch them develop into seasoned executives and outstanding leaders who are imbued with the Steve Madden ethos. I know they will be great in their new roles.”

Edward Rosenfeld, the company’s chairman and CEO, noted that the promotions serve as recognition of Varela and Frieder’s “many contributions to the company” and should “further strengthen the executive team at Steve Madden.”

“Amelia and Karla are both highly talented executives who have been instrumental to the success and growth of our company,” Rosenfeld said in a release. “Under Amelia’s leadership, our wholesale business has grown exponentially over the last decade as we have expanded into new brands, new product categories and new distribution channels. … Karla has proven herself to have a deep understanding of product and trends, and we are confident she will be highly successful in her role.

When Steve Madden reported earnings for the second quarter, on July 30, 2015, the company topped Wall Street’s forecasts with a 9 percent increase in revenues, though profits declined 13 percent. Analysts have been increasingly bullish on the firm, crediting Madden with helping to spark needed trend  excitement in fashion footwear.

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