Mark Tucker, Footwear Veteran Who Blazed Trails in China, Dies at 76

Mark Tucker, the founder of Me Too Shoes and one of the first executives to see great potential in Chinese production, died on Jan. 10. He was 76.

Tucker, who spent more than 50 years in the shoe business, succeeded in producing high-quality shoes that rivaled Italy, long before China became a powerhouse production hub. He made and supplied shoes for major labels through the years, and created his own brand.

“Mark had a passion for two things in his life — work and family. His dream was for the two of them to come together,” said Adam Tucker, one of his four children. “That dream came true.  He was a true pioneer.”

Adam said the family liked to call him “the Bob Dylan of the shoe business.” “He was one of the first people to attempt and succeed at building top-quality leather footwear out of China,” he recalled.

Darren Tucker, another one of Mark’s sons, admired the way his father treated people from all walks of life. “It didn’t matter if you were the owner of a company or a worker on a production line,” he said. He treated everyone with the same kindness and respect. He really cared about people.”

Mark’s love of the shoe industry was passed down to both Adam and Darren, who followed in his footsteps and currently hold roles at Me Too Shoes.

Their father was also admired by many other industry players, including Kenneth Cole, his brother-in-law.

“Mark’s relentless enthusiasm & determination inspired me and so many others,” wrote Kenneth Cole, his brother-in-law, on LinkedIn. “He was a true pioneer in our business and a loving father to four great kids.”

In addition to Adam and Darren, Mark is survived by his other two children, Valentina and Brad, and eight grandchildren, as well as his brother and sister and nieces and nephews.

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