Former Hush Puppies chief returns to make brand ‘chic’

David Rist, formerly strategic business director of British Shoe Corporation, has been appointed as managing director of Hush Puppies.

Rist will be responsible for repositioning the Hush Puppies brand, which is synonymous with middle-aged consumers. He says: “There is an opportunity to grow in the next two-to-three years and we will be broadening the customer base by targeting younger people.”

Rist has briefed Young & Rubicam and Delaney Fletcher Bozell to develop an advertising campaign for the brand. The company will be focusing on its Hush Puppies Classics range which is currently fashionable in the US, where it is sold as “retro-chic”. It will be launched in the UK in October or November.

Rist is working for Hush Puppies brand owner Wolverine, which created the brand in the US in the Fifties and bought it back from Sears two weeks ago. At the same time, Sears sold the Hush Puppies licensed retail outlets to Stylo for 19.2m.

Rist left BSC – a division of Sears – in April and the new appointment marks a return to running the Hush Puppies business. As strategic business director for BSC, he was responsible for Hush Puppies, Shoe City and department store concessions.

Before he took up that role, he was BSC marketing director. Prior to joining BSC he was brand director for Kay Shoes at CJ Clarks.

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