Nike Inc. hired veteran luxury goods retail executive James Seuss as CEO of the company's Cole Haan brand, effective May 15, 2006.
Seuss, 42, joins the company from Harry Winston, where he was president of the luxury diamond jeweler. Prior to Harry Winston, Seuss was a senior executive with Gucci Group, where he established a joint venture with Stella McCartney and ran the London-based fashion house as its first Chief Executive Officer. Seuss also has held senior leadership positions with Tiffany & Co in Europe and Asia, including managing director of Tiffany UK. Seuss also managed Tiffany's growth strategy and retail expansion throughout Asia.
“The Cole Haan brand is an important growth engine for Nike, ” said Mark Parker, President and CEO of Nike Inc. “Cole Haan's luxury brand positioning in premium dress and casual footwear and accessories provides us with an exciting growth platform beyond Nike's core athletic market. I look forward to working very closely with James and am confident he is the right person to lead Cole Haan to the next stage of growth.”
Based in Maine and New York City, Cole Haan is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nike Inc. Cole Haan designs and markets luxury shoes, handbags, accessories and coats for men and women under the brand names of Cole Haan, G Series and Bragano. Cole Haan products are distributed through premium retailers and more than 50 company-owned Cole Haan stores. In 2004, Footwear News named Cole Haan as its Company of the Year and Gordon Thompson, Cole Haan's Creative Director and formerly Nike's Global Creative Director, was named Accessories Designer of the Year by the Accessories Council.
“I am extremely excited to be joining the Nike family and to lead Cole Haan”, Seuss said. “Cole Haan's growth has been impressive and we have extraordinary opportunities to continue to grow the business, particularly in women's footwear and handbags as well as internationally as we expand beyond the US. I am looking forward to collaborating with Mark and Gordon and the tremendously talented Cole Haan team; I share their passion and their commitment to building Cole Haan into a global fashion lifestyle brand.”