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Insider caught up with Rockport prez Michael Rupp at a press preview for the spring ’10 line last week in Manhattan, and Rupp said the economic hard times have continued to pay off in at least one area: real estate deals. A new Rockport shop will open next month in Las Vegas’ Fashion Show mall, he said, and the company has signed leases for several new doors, some debuting before the end of the year.
At a Vegas soirée for LA Gear and the return of its lighted footwear, attendees wondered if the label would ever revive the Michael Jackson collection, which it produced during the late 1980s and early ’90s. Sportie LA co-owner and brand partner Isack Fadlon (pictured with LA Gear’s Lance Jackson) said it could happen, but not in the immediate future. “We were discussing this even prior to his passing,” he said. “As far as I know, he only did two endorsement deals — one with Pepsi and one with LA Gear.” Still, Fadlon said the time might not be right for the collection’s return, given that so many companies have tried to find ways to connect their brands to the media hype surrounding the singer’s death. “Right now, it might look somewhat opportunistic with his passing, and we don’t want any part of that.”
“It’s like Oprah on steroids ... it has changed the face of our company,” said Pete Ferrer, VP of sales for Toms Shoes, regarding the AT&T commercial ... DSW has not only added Gucci (as if that weren’t news enough), but is selling the luxe brand for as much as 60 percent off in 14 select stores.