Stuart Weitzman targets international growth

Wednesday, 11 September 2013
Luxury footwear label Stuart Weitzman is looking to expand the brand’s international reach with the appointment of Wayne Kulkin as chief executive officer. Kulkin, who was previously vice chairman, has been tasked to focus on “strategic global expansion” and other growth opportunities for the Stuart Weitzman brand in his new role as CEO. He will also assist with the selection of an executive team to support the brand's growth initiatives and develop a “strategic roadmap” for the future of the brand.

Commenting on Kulkin’s promotion, Stuart Weitzman, executive chairman of Stuart Weitzman, said: "Wayne has been a true partner over the last 23 years. His passion, creativity and business acumen have been essential in driving our growth across diverse channels, and I am confident that Wayne will be equally instrumental in his new role as CEO.

"Attracting senior-level talent for the hands-on, entrepreneurial culture at Stuart Weitzman will be a key part of our next phase of growth. I believe that Wayne will succeed in leading this endeavour and help ensure that the brand culture is maintained for the next generation and beyond.”

Stuart Weitzman promotes Wayne Kulkin to CEO

To aid the company’s global expansion, the luxury footwear brand has also appointed Roberta Lee to the newly-created role of vice president of marketing for Asia Pacific. Joining from Chanel Limited, where she served as head of fashion marketing, Lee will be responsible for driving the development, implementation and overall communications strategy for Stuart Weitzman in the region.

Susan Duffy, Stuart Weitzman’s chief marketing officer, who Lee will report into said: “We are implementing this strategic role as a result of our fast-paced retail expansion in the Asia Pacific region and Roberta’s appointment will help support the levels of sales growth we envision over the next several years.”

Alongside the new appointments, Stuart Weitzman also revealed plans for a major store expansion over the next three years, which it is stating will help the label to "considerable wholesale and e-commerce growth, licensing opportunities and brand extensions, including handbags and accessories".

The brand currently operates 100 standalone stores, three e-commerce sites and distributes to 80 countries. Stores scheduled to open by the end of the year include Hong Kong, Rome and New York.

Stuart Weitzman is part of the Jones Group, which also operates brands such as Kurt Geiger and Nine West and holds licensing agreements with Brian Atwood and Rachel Roy.

Image: Kate Moss for Stuart Weitzman

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