The fashion footwear maker announced today that it has hired Rodbell — who had started as a dress buyer at the century-old department store in 1985 and ascended through the ranks to president in 2014 — to occupy the newly created position of group president of retail, accessories and licensing.
“Liz is a strong and inspiring leader and a highly respected merchant,” said Steve Madden chairman and CEO Ed Rosenfeld. “Her passion for product makes her a great fit for our organization. I’m extremely excited to welcome Liz onto our senior leadership team, and I’m confident that her vision, experience and consumer knowledge will be invaluable assets supporting our growth initiatives.”
In addition to serving as Lord & Taylor’s leader since 2014, Rodbell was simultaneously the president of Hudson’s Bay in Canada before hanging up the latter hat in June 2017 as part of a leadership reshuffle at HBC. (Prior to becoming president of Lord & Taylor and Hudson’s Bay, she had served as EVP chief merchant for both divisions since 2012.)
Before her April 2018 departure, Rodbell had notably focused on engineering Lord & Taylor’s omnichannel strategy, spearheading the department store’s much-heralded Walmart partnership in a bid to refresh its image in an increasingly digital landscape.
“I am very excited to join one of the most innovative and fashion-forward companies in the industry,” Rodbell said of her new role. “I am energized by the strong team and have tremendous respect for both Steve, an unparalleled creative genius and entrepreneur, and Ed, a strategic thinker and dynamic leader.”
Indeed, Steve Madden has been a safe bet for market watchers for the better part of five years, putting up quarter after quarter of earnings wins as its affordable and on-trend wares find favor among price-conscious millennials.
Driven predominantly by strength at its flagship brand, as well as growth at owned labels Dolce Vita and Blondo, the firm said in July that its Q2 sales rose 6 percent to $396 million, besting forecasts for sales of $391 million.
“I’m excited to work with Liz, a longtime friend and supporter of the Steve Madden brand,” said Steve Madden, founder, creative and design chief. “I’ve always found her to be inspiring.”