Steve Madden, a designer and marketer of fashion footwear and accessories for women, men and children, on Monday announced that it has completed the acquisition of privately held Greats Brand Inc., a digitally native footwear brand specializing in premium sneakers made in Italy.
Founded in 2014 in Brooklyn, Greats is well known for its timeless yet aspirational and versatile styles. With a majority of products sold direct-to-consumer on greats.com as well as in its flagship retail store located in the Soho district of New York, the brand has become synonymous with high quality footwear at an exceptional price/value proposition for today’s consumer. Greats had net sales in the 12 months ended June 30 of approximately $13 million.
Edward Rosenfeld, chairman and CEO of Steve Madden, commented, “We are pleased to complete the acquisition of Greats, a pioneering digitally native footwear brand. We see significant opportunity to expand the business by combining Greats’ strengths – which include an outstanding brand and stylish, classic designs that appeal to today’s more casual consumer – with our proven business model, established infrastructure and global reach.”
Ryan Babenzein, founder and CEO of Greats, added, “Steve is a true maverick and is one of the people I look up to in the footwear industry. He’s created a multibillion-dollar footwear business from nothing and there are less than a handful of people in the world who have done that. Getting the chance to collaborate with and learn from Steve and the rest of the Madden Company to accelerate my business is something that made a ton of sense to me. My goal has been the same since I started Greats, and that is to create one of the leading footwear brands in the world. This partnership is another chapter in the Greats book to help accomplish that and I couldn’t be happier.”
Steve Madden, founder, creative and design chief of Steve Madden, commented, “Rarely in my 30 years since I started Steve Madden have I come across an opportunity as exciting as this. Ryan’s shoes are the talk among all the millennial men I encounter. He reminds me so much of myself. We can’t wait to explode this thing.”