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Former Foot Locker U.S. chief Rick Mina is busy with his newest venture: Levi’s footwear. The executive, who was dismissed from the athletic retailer in 2008, has taken over as COO of Anthony L&S LLC, a company based in Moonachie, N.J., that produces footwear for the denim brand. Also last week, former Puma exec Joe Warren came on board as SVP of sales for the company, which was showing at FN PLATFORM. “[We’re] revamping our sales force. We really want to be experts,” said Warren, adding that the fall line of men’s boots will be the next growth platform for the company.
To celebrate the launch of the show, Two Ten Footwear Foundation’s party Tuesday night pitted footwear players against each other in a friendly bowling match. Held at the Orleans Hotel (aptly during Mardi Gras), the event brought out the competitive nature of some of the industry’s biggest names. In the end, Zappos.com secured the gold, new brand Mojo Moxy took the silver and the Footwear News editorial team won the bronze. “We lost by one point — one point,” lamented Gary Van Ackeren, co-president of Mojo Moxy. “But it was to Zappos, and we don’t mind losing to them.”
Crowds gathered in the lobby outside the show Tuesday for a performance by up-and-coming Def Jam artist Jessica Jarrell, who was on hand to help promote a new line of dance sneakers by Angela and Vanessa Simmons’ Pastry label. The Box of Chocolates line will also feature other active shoes, including both running and yoga looks.
Ori Rosenbaum’s love for cars is hardly a secret, but this year the Auri Footwear founder is sharing the love. To wit: Rosenbaum teamed up with FN PLATFORM, Two Ten and Soles4Souls to bring his car— one of the fastest in the world — to the footwear masses. The 38-foot-long, bulletshaped vehicle sat outside the convention center for three days, drumming up attention for the brand, but Rosenbaum said it isn’t going to stay parked for long. He and his brother are still hoping it will break the land speed record — 400 mph — this year. “We’re car geeks, so we decided to bring that into this industry,” he said.