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Steve Madden Snaps Up Schwartz & Benjamin

Fashion footwear and accessories company Steve Madden announced today that it has acquired 93-year-old Schwartz & Benjamin, a wholesaler of licensed and private label footwear. Schwartz & Benjamin sells a slate of brands to department stores, specialty boutique and its partners’ company-owned stores, including Kate Spade, Rebecca Minkoff, Alice + Olivia and Avec Les Filles. Annual net sales for the privately-held company reached $87.6 million in 2016.

“We see opportunity to expand the business by combining Schwartz & Benjamin’s strengths – which include premier execution in the design and sourcing of high-quality footwear as well as a strong portfolio of brand partners – with our proven business model and infrastructure,” said Edward Rosenfeld, Steve Madden chairman and chief executive officer.

While specifics of the transaction were not released, Steve Madden purchased the company for cash plus an earn-out provision through January 31, 2023.

Schwartz & Benjamin will operate as a stand-alone business and maintain its current management team and employees, including Chief Executive Officer Danny Schwartz, Chief Creative Officer Barbara Schwartz and President and Chief Operating Officer Steve Shapiro.

“We at Schwartz & Benjamin are excited to be joining forces with Steve Madden,” said Danny Schwartz. “We are proud of our 93-year history of creating footwear that satisfies the needs of our brand partners, wholesale clients and consumers, and we look forward to continuing to do so for many years to come with the added support and resources of Steve Madden.”

Steve Madden’s branded portfolio includes, Steve Madden, Dolce Vita, Betsey Johnson, Report, Big Buddha, and Brian Atwood. It operates 186 retail stores and licenses its brands for ready-to-wear, outerwear, intimate apparel, hosier, accessories and bedding and bath.