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This Proven Footwear Exec Will Head Up Coach’s North American Wholesale Biz

As Coach puts more emphasis on its shoe business, the brand is turning to a proven footwear exec to lead North American wholesale operations.

Susan Pellish-Thaler is joining the Tapestry Inc.-owned Coach brand as GM and VP of North American wholesale. She reports to Laura Dubin-Wander, president of Coach North America.

Pellish-Thaler will be responsible for the leadership and operating results of the brand’s North America wholesale business, as well as leading sales and operations teams.

From left to right: Susan Pellish-Thaler, Lisa Mitchell, Marika Nanni and Libby Edelman at the FN Summit in 2014.

The executive was most recently SVP/Group President at Camuto Group where she led and managed general and wholesale operations.

Previously, she was president, SVP and general manager at Sam Edelman — and Pellish-Thaler also held leadership positions at Loehmann’s, Saks, and Anne Klein.

Pellish-Thaler’s appointment comes as Coach continues to ramp up its footwear operations.

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“We’ve been focused on building a directly controlled business. There’s been a lot of work to define who we want to be in footwear and getting the mix of quality and fashion in the space — it’s about how can we translate what we’re best at in leather goods in an authentic way in footwear. We now have nice momentum in the space. We’re starting to hit our stride,” said Coach CEO Josh Schulman in an interview with FN last year.

Coach has been a solid performer at Tapestry during a challenging time for the period. Last September, former CEO Victor Luis exited the company and chairman Jide Zeitlin took the reins. In December, Anna Bakst stepped down as CEO of Kate Spade, which has been a weak performer.

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