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The Sak Brand Group has a new leader for its fledgling footwear division.
The 23-year-old company on Tuesday announced that John Licata has been named head of footwear. Licata will oversee The Sak and Sakroots shoe collections, which launched this spring, as well as Elliott Lucca, projected to hit in spring '13.
Licata, who has been in the industry for 27 years, was most recently VP of sales for Naturalizer at Brown Shoe Co. He also spent time as a VP at Stride Rite.
The executive said he was attracted to The Sak Brand Group's solid handbag heritage, combined with its fresh passion and energy.
"[The company] has a new feel, but with 23 years of strong branding," Licata said. "It's very collaborative."
Sak Brand Group CEO Mark Talucci said in a statement that the company chose Licata for his deep knowledge of footwear. "We are confident that with John's experience, coupled with the team's resources, design talent and dedication, our footwear collections will be just as successful, if not more, than our handbags," he said.
Licata added that he plans to use his new role to help The Sak Brand Group build strong relationships with its shoe retailers, as well as create up-to-the-minute styles that resonate with customers. "Take the DNA [of The Sak brand] and translate that into trend-right footwear," he said. "It's a winning combination."