How Josh Schulman Energized Bergdorf Goodman’s Shoe Biz

Josh Schulman, who has headed up Bergdorf Goodman for the past five years, is leaving the department store for a new role.

WWD first reported the news this afternoon, noting that the seasoned fashion and luxury executive is heading to a multinational company. Schulman also led the Neiman Marcus International business.

During his tenure, Schulman — who was previously CEO of Jimmy Choo — forged ahead with many big projects for the retailer, despite the uncertain department-store climate.

In the last year alone, he oversaw the much-buzzed-about launch of Rihanna’s Fenty x Puma collection and the unveiling of Bergdorf’s stylish new main floor. Naturally, Schulman also made a big statement with the retailer’s shoe business by expanding the main floor, overhauling the contemporary offering and ramping up the hot men’s business.

Linda Fargo with Bergdorf Goodman President Joshua Schulman.
CREDIT: Courtesy of brand.

He also was instrumental in building Bergdorf’s relationship with some of the industry’s hottest stars, including Gianvito Rossi, Aquazzura’s Edgardo Osorio and Francesco Russo.

“Obviously, I have a deep understanding and passion for shoes,” Schulman told FN in 2014. “It’s a business that has had tremendous innovation, and that’s been important for Bergdorf. We were a pioneer in introducing the shoe salon as a more social setting. Clearly, that concept has taken flight.”

Top footwear leaders relished the chance to partner with someone who understood the ins and outs of the business.

“Josh knows my product as well as I do,” said George Malkemus, Blahnik’s U.S. CEO, a few years ago. 

Inside the women’s salon.

It wouldn’t be surprising if Schulman decided to return to a key role on the brand side. The executive was one of the central forces behind Jimmy Choo’s blockbuster growth when he led the house from 2007 to 2012.

In the meantime, the future of Neiman Marcus — Bergdorf Goodman’s parent company — is uncertain. After posting its sixth consecutive quarter of declining sales, Neiman Marcus said this month it would consider putting itself up for sale.

The luxury fashion retailer stated it is “undertaking a process to explore and evaluate potential strategic alternatives, which may include the sale of the company or other assets, or other initiatives to optimize its capital structure.”

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