Michael Atmore is Editorial Director of Footwear News (FN) and Director of Brand Development for Fairchild Fashion Media (FFM). He oversees both FN and Footwearnews.com, which offer extensive coverage of footwear-industry trends, fashion designers, business executives and retailers, as well as reports and reviews of the major runway shows. He also supervises WWD Accessories, a title coproduced with Womenâ€™s Wear Daily (WWD).
As Director of Brand Development, Mr. Atmore focuses on the extension of FFM brands, with particular attention to television, trade shows and the development of new products and initiatives.
Additionally, under his direction, FFM hosts two industry events: the annual FN Achievement Awards, and the FN CEO Summit, a biennial executive conference that draws a diverse cross-section of top-level executives and industry professionals. In 2008, Mr. Atmore created the FN â€œShoe Starâ€ webisode series, a reality shoe-design competition for Fashion Institute of Technology students created to identify the next great footwear designer. In 2002, he helped launch WWD Accessories, a consumer and business-focused magazine geared to the luxury market.
Prior to joining Fairchild and Conde Nast in 1997, Mr. Atmore was founding Editorial Director and Publisher of Footwear Plus. He has an extensive background in retail, having served as Editorial Director for a group of retail-based publications at International Thomson. He has also held top editorial positions at U.S. Business Press and Harcourt Brace.
Kevin M. Burke
Kevin M. Burke is President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA), headquartered in Arlington, Virginia.
Since he joined in 2001, AAFA has grown its membership base, member programs, and financial position, in addition to advancing its standing on Capitol Hill. With more than 30 years of experience as a government relations professional, Mr. Burke has previously led efforts for Food Distributors International, the American Bakers Association and the National Broadcasters Association.
Mr. Burke also worked as a legislative assistant, and later, press secretary to Representative Norm Lent (R-NY). He began his career in 1979 on the Republican National Committee and the Reagan-Bush Presidential Campaign. Mr. Burke currently serves as Chairman of Kids In Distressed Situations (K.I.D.S.) and sits on several boards, including the AAFA Education Foundation, Boys Hope Girls Hope, the Congressional Institute, the Fashion Institute of Technology’s Educational Foundation for the Fashion Industries, the International Apparel Federation and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce National Chamber Foundation. Mr. Burke is also a member of various political and trade association CEO groups in the Washington, DC, area.
He received a master’s degree in public administration in 1983 from American University in Washington, D.C., and holds a bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York at Brockport.
Laurence Dacade is a renowned Parisian shoe designer.
At 14 years old, Ms. Dacade made her first solo purchase: a pair of red and blue striped ballerina
shoes with an oversized bow. Her love affair with shoes had begun. Ms. Dacade is now the proud
owner of more than 500 pairs of shoes, from flip-flops to alligator boots and everything in
In her designs, Ms. Dacade strives to create shoes for Cinderella, but with a sexy edge and a dose
of French sensibilities. At once elegant and chic, her designs are inspired by the many cultures of
women throughout the world.
Ms. Dacade also finds inspiration in her travels, observing others at airports and train stations,
and drawing creativity from these encounters. She was technically trained at the AFPIC School of
Shoe Design in Paris. Her understanding of construction, as well as her passion for feminine,
sensual shoes, has enabled her to create pieces that are sexy and comfortable at the same time.
Ms. Dacade designs and produces her own namesake collection, in addition to designing
collections for major French houses. She has collaborated with major brands, including Balmain,
Christain Lacroix, Jean Louis Scherrer, Jacques Fath, Karl Lagerfeld, Givenchy and Oscar de la
Ms. Dacadeâ€™s wish is to use her creations to help make women feel more beautiful, sexy,
feminine, and unique.
Ken C. Hicks
Ken C. Hicks was elected President and Chief Executive Officer of Foot Locker Inc. effective
August, 2009. He was subsequently appointed as the company's Chairman effective January
Prior to joining Foot Locker, Mr. Hicks served as President and Chief Merchandising Officer of J.C.
Penney Company Inc. since 2005 and was a member of its board of directors since 2008. From
2002 to 2005, he was President and Chief Operating Officer of Penney's stores and merchandise
Before joining J.C. Penney, Mr. Hicks was President of Payless ShoeSource from 1999 to 2002,
where he was responsible for all elements of merchandising, marketing, product distribution, and
direct product development and sourcing for 4,900 stores in seven countries. Prior to joining
Payless ShoeSource, he was Executive Vice President and General Merchandise Manager of all
merchandising and programming for the Home Shopping Network.
From 1987 to 1998, Mr. Hicks held senior management and merchandising positions for May
Department Stores, including Senior Vice President of strategic planning and General
Merchandise Manager for several divisions. From 1982 to 1987, he was a Senior Engagement
Manager for McKinsey & Company.
Mr. Hicks graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point and served in the U.
S. Army, attaining the rank of captain. After leaving the Army, he earned an M.B.A. with highest
honors from Harvard University. He serves on the board of Avery Dennison Corporation.
John Jonas founded The Jonas Group, a leading retained fashion executive search firm, in 2001.
With 70 percent of its work in high-level footwear and accessories searches, The Jonas Group has made important placements across senior functional areas for many prominent footwear
companies. Mr. Jonas grew up in New York City and received his B.A. from Brown University. His
business education included working for his father, who was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
of the publicly traded, 600-location Lechterâ€™s Housewares. While there, Mr. Jonas gained
experience and knowledge in all functional areas of retail from stores to merchandising,
marketing, eâ€‘commerce, finance, board of directors meetings, and more, which helped him
understand these roles and prepared him to find ideal individuals to fit each clientâ€™s needs.
In addition to supporting The Two Ten Foundation, FFANY, and Soles4Souls, Mr. Jonas has always
been actively and charitably involved with bettering the lives of disadvantaged inner city youth.
Alessandra Lanvin inherited her taste for radiance from her Italian father and her Turkish mother.
She has degrees in political science and art history, and worked for several years as a luxury
industry recruiter in Paris.
Ms. Lanvin founded Aperlai, the luxurious accessory line, in 2009. The company is named after the
ancient Lycian city, a 20-minute boat ride from her family home, and a place that holds memories
of many happy summers.
Graphic pure lines, contrasts, asymmetries, and sophistication are the leitmotifs of the Ms.
Lanvinâ€™s style. Vintage pieces, exhibits at the MOMA, and artists such Pollock, Picasso, Mondrian,
and Lovegrove all inspire her creations. Exotic skins, python, stingray, and pony are some of
materials used in her designs. The finest craftsmen located near Venice make the shoes.
From sandals to cuissardes, stilettos to hexagon heels, her designs convey a simple and refined
allure. The special graphic Geisha heel, introduced for the Fall/Winter 2011/12 collection, is an
ode to cubism and already one of Aperlai signatures. Gatsby loafers, inspired by the timeless
androgynous shoes worn by Katherine Hepburn, are best sellers. Ms. Lanvin counts many A-list
celebrities â€“ Gwyneth Paltrow, Blake Lively, Kate Bosworth, Jessica Alba, Ginnifer Goodwin, Naomi
Watts, and Amanda Seyfried â€“ among her fans.
Leandra Medine is a freelance fashion writer from New York City. She graduated from Eugene
Lang, the New School for Liberal Arts in 2011 with a degree in journalism.
She has written for various publications, including New York Magazine, The New York Post,
Harper's Bazaar and Lucky, in addition to penning the popular blog, The Man Repeller.
Ms. Medine has been dubbed one of the 25 most influential voices in fashion by Ad Week and her
blog currently receives more than two million views a month.
An industry leader in casual luxury handbags, accessories, footwear and apparel, Rebecca
Minkoff's playful and subtly edgy designs can be spotted around the world on young consumers
and celebrities alike.
After developing an affinity for design while working in the costume department in high school,
the San Diego-native moved to New York City at the age of 18 to pursue her dream of becoming a fashion designer.
In 2001, Ms. Minkoff designed an "I Love New York" t-shirt as part of a five-piece capsule
collection, which appeared on The Tonight Show and in Us Weekly, becoming an overnight
In 2005, Ms. Minkoff designed her first handbag, "The Morning After Bag." This iconic piece
ignited her career as a handbag designer and, along with her brother Uri, she established Rebecca
In 2009, Ms. Minkoff created her first ready-to-wear apparel collection. Today, Rebecca Minkoff
has developed into a global lifestyle brand with a range of accessories, footwear, apparel,
handbags and jewelry, as well as men's leather goods sold under the label Ben Minkoff. The brand
is distributed in more than 900 stores worldwide. In 2011, she won industry recognition when she
was awarded the Breakthrough Designer Award from the Accessories Council. In March, she
opened her first freestanding boutique in Tokyo.
Ms. Minkoff is an active member of the CFDA and supports multiple philanthropies, including
Baby Buggy. She is married to actor and director Gavin Bellour, and they reside in New York City
with their son.
Uri Minkoff is Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Rebecca Minkoff, a New York-based fashion company.
Mr. Minkoff co-founded the company in 2005 with his sister, Rebecca Minkoff, with the successful debut of a renowned women’s handbag collection. Since then, he has carefully guided the label’s success. Today, the company distributes both accessories and clothing under the name Rebecca Minkoff LLC, and has grown into a full lifestyle brand.
With more than 14 years of experience as an entrepreneur, Mr. Minkoff has also successfully co-founded healthcare companies, including LifeWorks Wellness Center and Bodyhealth.com, and technology companies Fortis Software and Loop.
He also is Chief Executive Officer of Home Health Works and sits on the boards of Loop and the Tampa Bay Technology Forum. His forward-thinking expertise in technology, healthcare and lifestyle products has provided winning solutions for established brands.
Regina Smith Popp
Regina Smith Popp is Senior Fashion Editor for Footwear News.
Leah Robert is Senior Vice President of Licensing and Marketing of Camuto Group, an industry
leader in the design, development and distribution of women's fashion footwear.
Responsible for building brands on a global scale, Ms. Robert strategizes brand launches and
marketing initiatives from concept through execution in both domestic and international
wholesale and retail environments. She creates multichannel brand experiences across platforms,
including online partnerships and strategic collaborations to generate sales and expand web
presence. She also identifies best-in-class partnerships, building and leveraging relationships
across teams to achieve corporate goals.
Ms. Robert joined Camuto Group in 2005. She previously served as Marketing Manager of MBI
Inc., where she managed advertising, marketing, operations and customer service for such major accounts as the National Football League, Major League Baseball and Disney. She also worked as a
Market Research Analyst of Saltworks Inc. and was a member of Harvard University's
undergraduate admissions team.
Ms. Robert graduated from Harvard University with a B.A. degree in government.
After graduating with honors from Kingston University with a degree in set design and film,
Tabitha Simmons began her fashion career as a model.
Soon after, her interests became more focused on fashion styling, which allowed her to combine
her personal style with her educational background in design. Today, Ms. Simmons is a
contributor to Vogue, Another Magazine, and Italian Vogue. She has collaborated with many of
the industryâ€™s most renowned photographers, including Steven Klein, Craig McDean, Mark Segal,
Mario Testino, Mario Sorrenti, and Mikael Jansson, among other notables.
Ms. Simmons has consulted with iconic fashion houses on their seasonal collections, including
Givenchy, Fendi, Calvin Klein, Gucci, Philosophy for Alberta Ferretti, DKNY, Dolce & Gabbana,
Alexander McQueen, and Jonathan Saunders.
She currently resides in New York.
Stuart Weitzman learned the family business from his father Seymour Weitzman, who was the
designer of his own footwear company, Mr. Seymour. As an apprentice, the young Mr. Weitzman
learned every aspect of the business. It is because of this early training that he is one of the few
shoe designers who is also a skilled pattern maker.
Mr. Weitzman graduated from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and, after
his fatherâ€™s unexpected death, he and his older brother took over the Mr. Seymour business.
Mr. Seymour underwent several changes, including being sold to Caressa Inc, with production
moved to Spain. Mr. Weitzman remained President of the Mr. Seymour division, and the company
eventually and seamlessly became Stuart Weitzman Inc.
In 2005, Stuart Weitzman Inc. partnered with Irving Place Capital to become Stuart Weitzman
Holdings, LLC. This partnership poised the company for major international retail expansion. In
2010, Stuart Weitzman Holdings LLC sold a majority stake in the company to The Jones Group Inc.
For the past 35 years, the company has manufactured Stuart Weitzman footwear and handbags in
factories in Elda, Spain, and the surrounding regions. Mr. Weitzman has been recognized for the
impact of his efforts on the prestige of the Spanish footwear and handbag industry.
When not traveling to Spain to oversee production, Mr. Weitzman resides in Connecticut with his
wife, Jane. They are the parents of two adult daughters.