It was truly a memorable experience for us at Protect My Shoes to attend our first Footwear News CEO Summit in the heart of Miami Beach at The Edition hotel.
Footwear and retail industry leaders congregated at this annual conference to meet and share their insight on the ever changing market, trends, and what it takes to run a company in this fast-pace world.
Highlights of the Summit were without a doubt the long list of impressive and seasoned executives, shoe designers, and entrepreneurs who took the stage to share their thoughts with us.
Mark King, head of Adidas North America, spoke about his emphasis on corporate culture, saying that he spends up to 80% of his time on ensuring that the company culture at Adidas is empowering the thousands of employees working for the brand.
Victor Luis, CEO of Coach, touched upon the company's present strategy of acquiring brands. The acquisition of Stuart Weitzman last year marked the first company to go under the Coach umbrella with Kate Spade being the next new family member.
Kith's Ronnie Fieg was refreshingly candid on his business model and what makes him and the brand he's created very much in demand. The passion he has for his company is palpable.
Diane Sullivan, head of Caleres which owns many notable brands, spoke about the company's strategy to go back in time to re-discover each brand's roots in order to tell a story. In turn, the story telling creates interest and loyalty among customers.
Attendees were treated to a rare opportunity to hear fashion icon Christian Louboutin discuss his 25 years in the shoe industry. The intimate talk was followed by a memorable dinner. We can't lie... this was a dream come true!
Famous shoe designer Nicholas Kirkwood also appeared on the Summit stage. Kirkwood has turned his business into a global shoe brand in just 10 years and remains humble despite his major successes.
Albin Johansson, co-founder of cool brand Axel Arigato, spoke about how his business grew organically via social media. Like Kith, Johansson's company has done so well leveraging the Internet that they now have two store fronts, one in London and another in Stockholm, to share with their customers a unique shopping experience. As part of the presentation, an interesting (and somewhat scary) fact about our general attention span emerged:
Chairman of UK-based Pentland Brands, Andy Rubin, gave a thoughtful presentation on the current global economic environment and how it affects us all.
President of HSN, Bill Brand, closed off the conference by talking about HSN's engaging marketing approach on creating context and stories for their shoppers.
One common theme that came out of the conference is to always place the consumer at the forefront and we couldn't agree more!