After having bought a supplier last month, luxury shoemaker Manolo Blahnik said on Friday that it had appointed company insider Andrew Wright as President of its North American operations.
As with the purchase of that supplier, it’s part of a process under which the business is taking greater control of its operations with the company planning to bring its Americans operations under the direct control from January 1 next year.
And Wright has had a successful international career in the luxury industry, including executive and management positions at Polo Ralph Lauren, Bamford and most recently Louis Vuitton before joining Blahnik.
The company said he “has a strong understanding of the commercial and business specificities of the North American luxury market.” In his previous role there, he’s been responsible for the commercial and merchandising strategies across the wholesale and retail operations since 2017 “and it is through this lens that the new business development opportunities at Manolo Blahnik will be viewed.”
CEO Kristina Blahnik said: “Andrew is a talented executive and a proven leader. We have strong ambitions for our North American operations and are delighted to appoint someone of his calibre to this important position, especially as he comes from within the company, demonstrating the depth and quality of management talent we have within the business.”
Wright added: “Our North American clientele is among the most discerning and knowledgeable in terms of both product and design. I am looking forward to building the team and infrastructure to ensure that we exceed expectations when we take up the reins for our North American business in January.” He’ll actually retain his global responsibilities as the company’s Chief Commercial Officer and will be joined in New York by colleague Bruno Oghittu the company’s Chief Digital & Logistics Officer.
The company also said its Americas strategic development will be built “with an experienced team of luxury professionals with strength across all business functions” and with that in mind, it had a number of other announcements on Friday surrounding the senior leadership team for the region.
Marta Minchiotti, VP Sales & Merchandising, joins after working in senior management roles at Roger Vivier, Tod’s, Celine, Givenchy and Marc Jacobs. She has “honed a unique and strategic global expertise built on a strong and in-depth knowledge across the commercial, merchandising, marketing and product development functions,” we’re told.
And Gregory Schmitt is VP Finance, with over 15 years of financial experience in the luxury goods industry, including 10 years at Chanel’s HQ in New York, a year at Cartier North America and four years+ consulting for smaller luxury start-up companies both in the US and Europe.
Meanwhile, Herin Rodriguez, VP Operations has worked with the brand for 16 years in the USA “and is stepping up into the role of VP to take on all key operations for the North American Market.” He started his career in 1991 at Giorgio Armani.
Finally, Stella Letta joins as VP People & Culture, having worked in HR management roles with a number of luxury brands. She has worked at Giorgio Armani, Escada, LVMH and Jimmy Choo USA.
Manolo Blahnik has been growing in recent periods and currently operates 311 points of sale in 35 countries, with 20 of them being standalone stores. Its most recent store opening was at Palais-Royal in Paris last month