Manolo Blahnik Americas Chief Andrew Wright Joins FN Summit Lineup

More from Footwear News

During a critical period for the industry, FN brings together the innovative architects of footwear’s biggest success stories.

The day-long summit, themed “The Hot List,” will take place June 25 at 583 Park in New York City, and will center around several important topics: the hot markets that are driving the industry forward; the retail innovations that are fueling a brick-and-mortar comeback; the AI revolution; and the critical conversation around diversity, equity and inclusion.

“The industry is clearly in a period of transition, and we feel it is vital to have the really successful players on stage to talk, inspire and debate the current state of business and the huge technological advances looming with the wider adoption of AI and retail transformation,” said Michael Atmore, editorial director of FN and chief brand officer of Fairchild Media Group.

A number of the industry’s biggest names will take the stage at the event. The newest all-star speaker on the roster is Andrew Wright, president of the Americas at Manolo Blahnik, who will join Tracy Margolies, chief merchandising officer at Saks Fifth Avenue, for an engaging conversation about the power of strong brand and retailer partnerships and the state of the luxury market.

Among the other powerhouse speakers added to the lineup are Ronnie Jefferson, senior vice president and general merchandise manager of Finish Line at Macy’s. The energetic executive will be joined on stage by Paula Daniel, senior vice president and general merchandise manager of buying for JD Sports/Finish Line.

Another big speaker highlight is Dave Powers, president and chief executive officer of Deckers Brands, who been steering incredible growth at not just one but two blockbuster brands: Hoka and Ugg. Last month, Deckers reported that net sales for fiscal 2024 increased 18.2 percent to $4.29 billion. As the executive prepares to retire, he will share valuable leadership lessons and secrets to success.

Speaking of success, Crocs has racked up win after win, thanks to its quirky and comfortable product and attention-grabbing collections. Its influential women-in-power duo — recently retired brand architect Michelle Poole and new president and EVP Anne Mehlman — will sit down with FN for a special conversation about leadership transitions and the continued heat around Crocs.

PacSun’s Shirley Gao will take the stage to discuss AI.
PacSun’s Shirley Gao will take the stage to discuss AI.

Few brands have captured the attention of consumers like Golden Goose, which has major momentum ahead of its initial public offering. After months of speculation, Golden Goose confirmed last Thursday it will launch an IPO on the Euronext Milan stock exchange, aiming at issuing 100 million euros worth of primary shares.

CEO Silvio Campara will open his playbook for summit attendees as the company continues to emphasize its one-of-a-kind product, open cool stores around the world and team up with of-the-moment collaborators.

As the huge momentum in the running market persists, On is racing ahead. Chief commercial officer Britt Olsen, who steers the direct-to-consumer strategy and wholesale partnerships, will give the audience insight into Retail 3.0 as the landscape quickly evolves.

Elias Stahl, CEO and founder of Hilos, will take the audience inside his AI playbook.
Elias Stahl, CEO and founder of Hilos, will take the audience inside his AI playbook.

Strong partnerships are essential for success in today’s challenging climate, and Aldo Group has propelled its business forward through a series of new licensing deals with Authentic Brands Group. Jonathan Frankel, president of Aldo Product Services, will take the audience behind the scenes of the company’s strategy for Sperry, Hunter, Roxy, Brooks Brothers and more.

In addition, Larry Schwartz, Aetrex CEO, will be on stage to talk about the rapid evolution of its winning FitTech formula.

The event will also go inside the burning issues shaking up the industry right now.

As corporate diversity progress stalls amid a period of backlash, André Pinard, director of culture at Exposure and former Adidas executive, will lead an important conversation about the road ahead and examine what’s really working in DEI — and what’s not.

He will be joined on stage by Michelle Marshall, head of diversity, equity, inclusion and social impact at Puma North America; and Karen Mercado, VP of talent acquisition at PVH Corp.

Meanwhile, there’s no question that AI is reshaping every aspect of the business, from product and retail to hiring.

A group of executives and experts, including PacSun chief digital officer Shirley Gao and Elias Stahl, CEO and founder of Hilos, will look at the huge developments that will drive business in the back half of 2024 and beyond.

There will also be plenty of time for attendees to network throughout the day, including at breakfast, lunch and during a special cocktail hour that will cap off the event.

The FN Summit is supported by Adidas, Aetrex, Bolt, Skypad and The Running Event.

For more information, go here.

For partnership inquiries, please email Hillari Lazzara at For attendee inquiries, contact Trish Reidy at

Best of Footwear News

Sign up for FN's Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.