Two major shoe brands make major hiring announcements – WWD

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Two mass-market shoe companies are ringing in the new year with new hiring announcements, with Steve Madden and Rothy making big appointments.

Madden has added Arian Simone to its board. As President and CEO of Fearless Fund, Simone created a venture capital fund founded by women of color to invest in businesses owned by women of color. She first partnered with Steve Madden in February 2021 when she launched the Self Made x Fearless Fund series, which offered talks, coaching and resources for women entrepreneurs of color.

Her appointment brings Steve Madden’s board to 11 seats (including nine independent directors), and she will focus on “steering strategy and enhancing value for all Steve Madden stakeholders”, according to a statement from the company.

Fearless Fund works with companies seeking pre-seed, seed or Series A funding, often investing between $250,000 and $500,000. The company is backed by around $20 million and has so far invested in companies such as Hairbrella, 100 Black Angels and Ellis Island Tea.

Additionally, Rothy’s has named its first vice president of retail. Mo Vachon has been appointed to the new role, responsible for overseeing Rothy’s retail expansion, which will include six new stores by the end of this year. He will also develop retail experience improvement and innovation strategies.

Vachon joins the durable and washable accessories brand from Express where he was regional manager based in Los Angeles. Vachon previously worked at Charlotte Russe where he became chief operating officer and also held executive positions at Claire’s and PacSun.

“Mo brings a wealth of knowledge and experience from a variety of retail brands that will be instrumental in the growth of Rothy’s retail stores in his new role. As Vice President of Retail, Mo will ensure that Rothy’s continues to deliver a top-notch customer experience in our physical stores. He will also oversee the continued development and implementation of operational strategies to evolve Rothy’s in-store customer experience as we grow,” said Heather Skidmore Howard, Brand COO.

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