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Shuffle Board: Gucci’s Creative Director Departs, Fila Names Futura Innovation Team Leaders

Brands

Gucci

Gucci announced that Alessandro Michele was stepping down as creative director.

Michele has been at the creative helm of the brand since 2015 and has played a fundamental part in making the brand what it is today through his groundbreaking creativity, while staying true to the renowned codes of the House, according to the company.

Gucci’s design office will continue to carry the direction of Gucci forward until a new creative organization is announced.

Gucci is part of Kering, which manages the development of luxury brands in fashion, leather goods and jewelry. In addition to Gucci, those brands include: Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, Brioni, Boucheron, Pomellato, DoDo, Qeelin and Kering Eyewear.

Fila

Fila Holdings Corp., which operates global sports brand Fila, announced the reorganization of key global teams, heralding a shift in marketing and design leadership.

The newly established teams are the Futura Innovation Team, focusing on innovation and sustainability, and the Design Team, tasked with developing global product ranges to bolster Fila’s brand image and positioning. Together seeking to redefine Fila’s brand value, the two teams are operating under Fila Luxembourg, a wholly owned subsidiary of Fila Holdings that oversees Fila’s global trademarks except for in China, Hong Kong, and Macao, which are under the leadership of ANTA Sports.

Both teams are led by global strategic marketing director Luca Bertolino. The Futura Innovation Team will develop specialized footwear categories based on technology and sustainability, with three main goals of building brand momentum, advancing tennis-based products and marketing, and leading sustainable management. The team is headed by Mikal Peveto, who helped to guide innovation while working at Fila in the early-to-mid-2000s. Until recently, Peveto was president of Blumaka, an American sustainable footwear product manufacturer.

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Heading up Futura’s design team is David Bond, who was instrumental in building Nike’s Jordan brand and Under Armour’s Curry series. Bond is set to focus on bringing key innovations to Fila’s signature footwear lineup.

Meanwhile, the engineering division is led by Mark Sheehan and Jason Stewart. Sheehan has extensive experience developing representative technologies such as Nike’s Air Max and Under Armour’s HOVR, while former Olympian Stewart achieved success planning Adidas’ high-performance Adizero footwear collection.

The Design Team, aiming to boost Fila’s global apparel, footwear and accessories ranges, is led by Torsten Hochstetter as the new global head of design. Hochstetter served as a global creative director at Puma from 2013 to 2021.

In addition, Paola Loglisci joins the design team as head of apparel and accessories. Mark Eggert is responsible for the design team’s footwear division, continuing his 17-year journey with Fila.

Malouf

Malouf has named Sharon Gjertsen as its new director of furniture merchandising.

An integral part of the Malouf product development team, Gjertsen will continue to expand and develop the company’s Salt Flat furniture line, as well as furniture for Malouf Home and Weekender.

In her new role, Gjertsen will oversee strategy planning and execution, product design and development, sourcing and logistics across all Salt Flat categories–living room, dining room, outdoor and occasional–and select pieces for Malouf Home and Weekender.

Most recently, she served as vice president of merchandising at Star Furniture, where she led the product strategy, development and pricing to drive sales.

Malouf products are available in over 16,000 retail partner locations in the U.S., and its international team now serves over 56 countries. Malouf, a Certified B Corporation, is headquartered in Logan, Utah.

Ortholite

OrthoLite, a manufacturer of branded, high-performance and comfort footwear solutions and the company behind the recent introduction of Cirql plastics-free, recyclable, biodegradable and industrially compostable foam, announced Juan Cutina as sales director of OrthoLite Cirql.

OrthoLite Cirql is headquartered in Vietnam, where Cutina is based. He joins the OrthoLite Cirql team with more than a decade of experience in footwear manufacturing in Vietnam.

As sales director for OrthoLite Cirql, Cutina will work in tandem with the global OrthoLite sales organization to execute the adoption of Cirql with the leading global footwear brands. OrthoLite has secured patents to protect the credibility of its innovation and its brand and factory partners in the global movement toward a circular economy.

OrthoLite is found in more than 550 million shoes across all categories from brands such as Adidas, Altra, Asics, Brooks, Clarks, Cole Haan, Converse, Danner, Fendi, Hoka, Hugo Boss, New Balance, On, Reebok, Rothy’s, Salomon, Skechers, The North Face, Timberland, Toms, Under Armour and Vans.

Retail

Genesco

Genesco Inc. announced the appointments of two new independent directors, Matthew M. Bilunas, chief financial officer of Best Buy Co., and Carolyn Bojanowski, executive vice president of merchandising, Sephora USA, to its board of directors, effective Jan. 29, the beginning of its fiscal year.

Genesco also announced that current directors Matthew C. Diamond and Kevin P. McDermott will retire from Genesco’s board and will not stand for reelection. In order to facilitate an orderly transition, Genesco has expanded the size of its board from nine to 11 directors until its 2023 annual meeting, at which time the board will revert to nine directors.

Genesco Inc., a Nashville-based specialty retailer and branded company, sells footwear and accessories in more than 1,410 stores throughout the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and Ireland, principally under the names Journeys, Journeys Kidz, Little Burgundy, Schuh, Schuh Kids, Johnston & Murphy, and on associated websites. In addition, Genesco sells footwear at wholesale under its Johnston & Murphy brand, and the licensed Levi’s, Dockers and Bass brands.

Textiles

International Cotton Association

Alia Malik, senior director for data and traceability at Better Cotton, joined the International Cotton Association (ICA) as a new board member.

The ICA is an international cotton trade association and arbitral body and was set up 180 years ago in 1841 in Liverpool, England. The mission of ICA is to protect the legitimate interests of all those who trade cotton. It has 550 members from around the world and represents all supply chain sectors.

Trade

Kelley Drye & Warren

Kelley Drye & Warren LLP announced that Beth Jafari will join the firm upon her departure from the office of Sen. John Cornyn (R.-Tex.), where she has served as chief of staff since 2007.

The addition of Jafari bolsters the government relations practice at Kelley Drye and strengthens its bi-partisan focus after the recent addition of Laurie Rubiner, who had served as chief of staff for Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D.-Conn).

Kelley Drye & Warren’s Washington office is home to team of over 30 bipartisan advocates that work in partnership with companies and organizations to develop and implement strategies to change government policy.