Designer Brands on Reinventing the Shoe Industry

Posted on 12/1/2021 5:47:15 PM

Designer Brands was recently celebrated in a special milestone issue of Footwear News.

Roger Rawlins, CEO, Designer Brands, sat down with Footwear News to talk about Why the Company Isn’t Thinking Like a Retailer Anymore. In this article, he discusses how the company went from disrupting retail – very first open-sell concept, early rewards program adoption, early mover on everyday value – to reinventing the model entirely by learning from our customers, building brands, moving at lightning speed and inspiring self-expression.

How Designer Brands Is Tackling Its Corporate Responsibilities really captures our company’s soul. Diversity, equity and inclusion lead Christina Ballenger, SVP of human resources Amy Jo Donohew, and senior director of global compliance Laura Noonen share Designer Brands’ commitment to social impact and mental, physical and ecological wellbeing. They also shed light on our active work on labor, health and safety, and environmental standards. And they talk about our philanthropic partnership and giant milestone reached with Soles4Souls.

In How the Pandemic Jumpstarted DSW’s Evolution to a New Warehouse Model and Merchandising Approach, Bill Jordan, president, Designer Brands, shares how DSW has “been a rocket ship in growth” over the last 30 years, moving from a successful brick-and-mortar retailer to a thriving digital business.  Jim Weinberg, chief merchandising officer, DSW, explains how we’ve nimbly pivoted our assortment to focus on what our customers want most. Jared Poff, chief financial officer, DSW, talks about the synergies that have made our brand relationships a win-win for customers. And Melissa Blandford, SVP of stores and operations, DSW, shares how we’re meeting and exceeding customer expectations of an omnichannel experience. Take a trip through our 30-year history in this video: Designer Brands Celebrates 30 Years of Fabulous Footwear

And while 30 years is a milestone worth celebrating, check out How the Shoe Company in Canada is Modernizing Ahead of its 70th Anniversary. Designer Brands Canada’s president Mary Turner, head merchant Nancy Figenshaw, and digital lead Eric Penno lay out the company’s approach to delivering a seamless customer experience and deepening customer relationships across brands, making it the go-to stop for family footwear in the Canadian market.

In How the Camuto Group is Bouncing Back with the Relaunch of Vince Camuto, Camuto Group president Debbie Ferrée, SVP and creative director Melissa Lawrence, and SVP of sales Geralyn Lyman shed light on how Camuto Group pays homage to its history while moving full speed ahead into a new era, modernizing the hallmarks of the beloved brand. Its growth-minded approach can be seen in how it has adapted to support wholesale customers to meet demand with supply chain slow-downs, and in how it is expanding its assortment – known for success in dress – to focus on the comfort customers want today.

Also part of the celebratory issue:

Footwear News also hosted an industry-focused live roundtable: Destination Shopping: How to Build a Must-Have Brand Roster with Jared Poff, Mary Turner and Jim Weinberg, and a customer-focused Instagram Live: In Conversation about Today’s Hottest Trends at DSW with Regina Popp, senior director, fashion & trend, Designer Brands.