Call them the fashion forces in the making.
Here are the designers, brand builders and the people who are blazing new trails.
More from Footwear News
See who else made the FN Power List 2019:
• The Dramatic Makeover
• The Independents
• The Tastemakers
• The Dynasties
• On the Rise
• The Guiding Forces
• The Conversation Starters
• The Design Stars
• The Retail Innovators
• The Shoe Dogs
• The Business Titans
• The Influentials
David Allemann, 49; Olivier Bernhard, 51; Caspar Coppetti, 43
The 9-year-old Swiss performance running brand founded by three friends has gained traction in the U.S., though it can be found in 50 countries. The brand most recently launched the lightweight Cloudstratus sneaker using its Cloudtec cushioning system. On has partnered with runners from all over the world, focused on Ironman triathletes and ultrarunners.
Key Execs: Martin Hoffman, Marc Maurer
Mike Amiri, 43
Founder & Designer, Amiri
The L.A.-based designer’s eponymous label is growing fast. Founded in 2014, it’s now on pace to earn $60 million in sales for 2019 and $100 million within two years. It will open its first flagship stores in Los Angeles and Las Vegas in 2020.
Nicolò Beretta, 23
Founder & Designer, Giannico; Creative Director, L’autre Chose
Following his appointment as creative director of L’Autre Chose last year and the merger of the two design studios, Beretta’s Giannico has now been bought by L’Autre Chose. The FNAA award-winning designer will continue in the same capacity at both brands.
Key Exec: Alice Carli
Bianca Gates, 41; Marisa Sharkey, 44
Co-Founder & CEO; Co-Founder, President & COO, Birdies
The duo behind the Meghan Markle-approved slipper brand raised another $8 million in 2019 and is on track to grow fourfold year over year. The 4-year-old firm debuted a store in San Francisco in 2017 and expanded into bridal shoes in April of this year.
Ryan Goldston, 32 ; Adam Goldston, 32
Co-Founders, Athletic Propulsion Labs
APL will open its first store, a flagship, in November at The Grove in Los Angeles and has plans to launch a kids’ line. The brand, which relaunched its website in October, also partnered with the British Formula 1 motor team Rokit Williams Racing to supply Rokit with footwear for racing. APL expanded its TechLoom offerings with a running shoe and the Chelsea training shoe.
Chloe Gosselin, 35
Designer, Chloe Gosselin
The luxury designer increased her brand presence with multiple pop-ups, including one in Paris at the end of September and another in July, in collaboration with Diane Von Furstenberg at DVF’s New York flagship. Gosselin continued to dress celebrities for the red carpet, too, most memorably at the 2019 Met Gala, where she made a custom pair for Céline Dion.
Mary Alice Malone, 36
Founder, Malone Souliers
Following the departure of co-founder and CEO Roy Luwolt in December, Malone, who had left her namesake brand for a short sabbatical, returned to take the reins once more. Now it’s full steam ahead with the addition of a men’s collection for spring ’20.
Key Exec: Steven Hope
Leandra Medine, 30
Founder, Man Repeller; Creative Director, Leandra Medine
Medine pressed pause on her namesake footwear line after her licensing deal with Six London expired earlier this year, but that doesn’t mean she is out of the design game. Medine is staying the course on her influencer career, which includes a recent capsule with Mango, and the marketing of Man Repeller’s product line of tomato charms, dolphin prints totes, future-vintage sunglasses and “Repeller” baseball caps.
Amina Muaddi, 33
Founder & Designer, Amina Muaddi
Just a year after launching her namesake brand, Muaddi’s sexy-cool, crystal-embellished shoes with the “martini heel” are the ones that even the most seeded of influencers — and Rihanna — are actually buying for themselves. Retailers are equally excited, and all of the top players (Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Harrods, On Pedder, Level Shoes, Browns Fashion, Net-a-Porter) have all opted in.
Takehiro Shiraishi, 61
CEO, Onward Luxury Group
The company launched a subsidiary, OLG Lab, in February to focus on new talents, innovative projects and sustainability. In October, OLG launched a new footwear label, Carlotha Ray, with Antolina designer Mariela Schwarz Montiel and inked a licensing deal with Francesco Russo.
Max Svärdh, 33; Albin Johansson, 32
Co-Founder & Creative Director; Co-Founder & CEO, Axel Arigato
The sneaker brand is on track to hit $23.8 million in sales this year, up significantly from 2018. In addition to launching five stores in 2019, Axel Arigato launched wholesale and can be found at retailers Ssense, Le Bon Marché, Browns Fashion, Selfridges, Harrods, END, Harvey Nichols, IT, Lane Crawford and Sneakerboy. The company also launched kids’ for fall ’19.
Marcus Wilson, 47; Michael Schaeffer, 51
Nobull will soon have four brick-and-mortar stores after a new shop opens in Miami this month and following a location that opened in White Plains, N.Y., earlier this year. The Boston-based brand signed Tia-Clair Toomey, a CrossFit Games champion, to its roster of athletes and added running shoes and slides to its existing lineup of performance shoes.
Key Exec: Todd Meleney