Kevin Bailey, president, VF Action Sports & Vans, VF Corp.
“It’s never been easier to reach your audience and never been harder to engage them.”
Sophia Webster, founder & CD, Sophia Webster.
“Shoes are like sculpture, but with extra purpose — they have to be worn. That fascinates me.”
Debbie Ferrée, vice chairman & CMO, DSW Inc.
“If you have any doubt that mobile is the future … there are 1 billion downloads on YouTube daily.”
Blake W. Krueger, chairman, CEO & president, Wolverine World Wide Inc.
“Technology has had an impact on all of us. More people in the world have a mobile device than have a toothbrush. I’m not sure what that says about humanity today. But our expectations about how we get information have changed.”
Glenn Lyon, chairman and CEO, Finish Line Inc.
“We told Macy’s they were pretty lousy at the sneaker business and I think Terry Lundgren knew that. It took me a year to get to him, but I persevered,” Lyon recalled. “We have spent two years and tripled the business for them.
Steve Madden, founder, creative & design chief, Steve Madden Ltd.
“People say there aren’t trends, but for me, the shoe business is pretty much the same. There’s always something to make and always someone who wants great shoes. There are seasons that are leaner, and some shoes have a longer run. But I’ve been at this since 1980, and it doesn’t feel that different.”
Nicolo Beretta, founder & CD, Giannico.
“Maintain your identity and follow your heart.”
Matthew Chevallard, founder & CD, Del Toro.
“You always have to create value. Avoid putting yourself in a ceiling situation.”
Matt Priest, president, FDRA.
“We’re relying on an antiquated system that used to design shoes and bring them across the border.”
Prabal Gurung, CD & CEO, Prabal Gurung.
“A beautiful women is a beautiful woman, but a beautiful woman with a brain is a lethal combination.”
Uri Minkoff, co-founder & CEO, Rebecca Minkoff LLC.
“Brick and mortar hadn’t really evolved since Apple. Our store has been transformative for us.”
Liz Rodbell, president, Hudson’s Bay and Lord & Taylor, Hudson’s Bay Co.
“Today, men love footwear, too. Before, they had a black shoe, a brown shoe and a pair of sneakers. Now, my husband’s shoe closet is bigger than mine.”
Eddie Ubell, president, JCEdward Corp.
“I’m a millennial. I’m asking for it, but Generation Z is just expecting it,” on providing sustainable and eco-friendly packaging.
Louise Camuto, CCO, Camuto Group.
“Our most important social platform is Instagram. It propels our brand identity, and we get a lot of customer feedback that way.”
Ed Ferrell, president, Camuto Group.
“Vince developed people and put his trust in us. We want to take the company to a place that even he didn’t imagine.”
Paul Andrew, president & CCO, Paul Andrew.
“It’s funny how big of a deal is made of red carpet dressing when so often you can’t even see the shoes. I laughed when FN named Lupita Nyong’o’s shoes as the best at the Oscars last year when you could only see two inches of them.”
Tabitha Simmons, owner & CD, Tabitha Simmons Accessories.
“Maybe in the future I’ll have to scale back, but right now, styling and working on my shoes complement each other. I don’t think when I walk into my offices or into Dolce [& Gabbana]’s they question my dedication to them.”