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No. 41-60: Neil Clifford, Aldo, Ralph Lauren…

A look at some of the industry's big players.

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Jim Issler President, CEO; H.H. Brown

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Jim Issler
President, CEO; H.H. Brown
2008 Rank: 42

Issler isn’t letting a little thing like the economy stand in his way. This year, the 61-year-old acquired iconic 1970s brand Kork-Ease, set for a spring ’10 relaunch. And he rolled out Vintage Shoe Co., a men’s and women’s retro-inspired collection made in the U.S. Additionally, H.H. Brown inked a licensing deal with BBC International for a line of Born Children’s Footwear and Nu Born, a companion series of layette and toddler styles, both slated for next fall. And while Issler has added new brands to the roster, he remains focused on bread-and-butter lines Sofft, BOC and Born Crown, all contributing to strong company numbers this year. But Issler is also thinking outside the box, using his internal Web group, eDreams, to create sites for clients including FFANY and Foot Petals.

Power Players: Frank Rooney, chairman; Thomas McClaskie, president, Born; David Issler, president, Sofft

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