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In The News: Mizuno, Craft, UA, Born Primitive


Industry veteran Chris Brewer has joined the leadership team at Mizuno USA as senior director of running. Brewer brings a wealth of experience in the footwear sector to his new role, having held key positions over the past 25 years at brands such as Adidas, Under Armour, and Fila.

Craft Sportswear North America, citing increased demand for its footwear at retail, particularly in running, has tapped Seattle-based Waypoint Outdoor to be its nationwide sales agency for footwear, aiming to expand Craft’s reach in the footwear market.

Fashion industry veteran John Varvatos is joining Under Armour as the company’s Chief Design Officer, effective September 11. Varvatos, who has worked with Polo Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, Converse, and his namesake brand, John Varvatos, started consulting for UA earlier this year. He will lead the creative design direction of the company and oversee the design studios in New York, Baltimore and Portland, Oregon, working in partnership with UA’s product team to bring apparel, footwear and accessories from concept to commercialization.

Designer Brands, the parent of DSW slated to report its latest quarterly results tomorrow, has formally announced the departure of Bill Jordan on or before Dec. 1. Jordan, previously the company’s chief growth officer, has been president since June 2021 and with the company since 2005.

Wolverine Worldwide has completed the sales of its U.S. leathers business to New Balance for approximately $6 million, and has entered into an agreement to sell its Hush Puppies trademarks, patents, copyrights and domains in China, Hong Kong and Macau to current sublicensee, Beijing Jiaman Dress Co., Ltd., for approximately $58.8 million.

Pentland Brands-owned Ellesse is teaming up with the Graduate Fashion Foundation to give final year fashion students first-hand experience developing a footwear collection. Students participating in the program will be asked to design a 12-piece capsule collection that aligns with the brand’s Spring/Summer 2024 “SARTORIA” range. Besides utilizing the brand’s marks in their designs, project participants must incorporate one tracksuit, an Ellesse staple and a brand best-seller in their work. The GFF x Ellesse Tailors Program is open to all final-year BA Fashion students from universities affiliated with Graduate Fashion Week. Submission deadline is midnight (GMT) on Jan. 31, 2024. The company is offering three tiers of prizes to the winners.

Lululemon, which entered the footwear business last year, says it’s making “steady progress” in the category. The company did not break out footwear-specific sales in its most recent annual report filed in March. On the heels of announcing its recent introduction, a versatile run model called the Chargefeel 2, the company said it is continuing to gear up for its men’s footwear launch in 2024.

Born Primitive, an online fitness apparel brand founded in 2014 by former Navy Lt. Bear Handlon and Mallory Riley out of their passions for Olympic weightlifting and CrossFit, is entering the performance shoe market tomorrow with the launch of the Savage 1 cross-trainer ($130 MSRP). The low-profile style, which will be available in five colorways and in men’s and women’s sizes, will be sold exclusively on the company’s website. Born Primitive, currently offering 1,200+ athletic and lifestyle products for men and women, currently generates more than $100 million in annual sales from its e-commerce enterprise, with no current plans to focus on retail distribution.