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Exclusive: Designer Brands Inc. Taps Andrea O’Donnell As Brands President

DSW parent company Designer Brands Inc. has tapped retail veteran Andrea O’Donnell for the role of brands president, EVP of Designer Brands, as the company seeks to bolster its share of owned and licensed brands.

O’Donnell, who has served as the CEO of shoe and apparel retailer Everlane since 2021, will oversee the sourcing, design and distribution of Designer Brands’ growing roster of owned and licensed brands, including Keds, Vince Camuto, Topo Athletic, Hush Puppies, Le Tigre, Lucky Brand, Jessica Simpson, Kelly & Katie, Crown Vintage, Mix No. 6 and more. She begins her role on Jan. 29 and will report to DBI CEO Doug Howe.

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The appointment marks the company’s latest efforts to zero in on its owned brand strategy. In 2022, DBI outlined a plan to double sales from owned brands and Camuto Group national owned and licensed brands to almost one-third of total sales by 2026. (DBI acquired Camuto Group in 2018, which designs and develops the Vince Camuto brand and licenses footwear for Jessica Simpson and Lucky Brand.)

“Joining Designer Brands at this stage of their brand building journey is such a unique and exciting opportunity for me,” said O’Donnell in a statement. “Designer Brands has long been a power player in the footwear industry and has now thoughtfully built a diverse and complementary brand portfolio to meet diverse and ever-changing consumer preferences. I am thrilled to begin working with the entire Designer Brands team to continue to build our trend-right and growing brand portfolio.”

Prior to her experience at Everlane, O’Donnell served for more than five years as the president of fashion lifestyle at Deckers, where she helped Ugg expand its annual revenue by 500 million to over $2 billion during her tenure. She also held roles at DFS Group Limited — a retailer majority owned by LVMH — Lane Crawford, John Lewis, Hackett London, Jaeger and Debenhams. She currently serves on the board of directors for Fashionphile, a luxury consignment boutique.

Howe said in a statement that he believes O’Donnell will help DBI further its brand building mission.

“Her deep experience and tremendous track record, which includes the revitalization of the powerhouse brand, Ugg, will be a critical asset for us moving forward,” Howe said. “The passion for design and storytelling she brings to the table will further bolster our strategy of delivering a unique, omni-channel customer experience.”

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