Designer Brands Inc., one of the world’s largest designers, producers, and retailers of footwear and accessories, today announced the acquisition of Topo Athletic (“Topo”). The transaction expands the Company’s reach into the critical performance athletic and outdoor footwear categories. Topo’s founder and CEO, Tony Post, will remain with the Company as CEO of Topo, and report to Bill Jordan, president of Designer Brands.
Topo, known for its distinctive, award-winning fit and feel, brings Designer Brands’ Owned Brand business immediately into the premium athletic category. Topo footwear, designed for running, walking, hiking, and overall comfort, is already recognized in its category across the U.S. and internationally. Led by founder Post, Topo is poised for meaningful growth with top-tier product, reputation, and distribution already in place. Prior to starting Topo in 2012, Post was senior vice president of product and marketing at The Rockport Company, then served as CEO of Vibram USA, managing both the U.S. sole business and launching Vibram FiveFingers. This vast experience and DNA for innovation make Topo a strong fit for Designer Brands’ own innovative approach to growth. Topo further diversifies Designer Brands’ broader portfolio of Owned Brands, which includes Vince Camuto, Jessica Simpson, Crown Vintage, Mix No. 6, Lucky Brand, and Kelly & Katie, comprising six of the top 50 fashion brands at Designer Brands and will now also grow in the hyper-important athletic and athleisure space with Topo and the Company’s previously announced LeTigre acquisition.
“Topo represents another exciting growth opportunity for Designer Brands and further propels us to our goal of doubling sales of our Owned Brands by 2026,” said Jordan. “Tony Post’s visionary leadership reminds us why the best athletic shoes must deliver a better experience, so our customers become passionate about our brands. Designer Brands continues to control its destiny with more than 30 million customers in its loyalty programs, more than 700 points of distribution, and three online platforms that total more than $1 billion in sales. Following our most recent year-over-year quarterly sales increase of 25% in Owned Brands and 33% within our Direct-to-Consumer channels, we are confident Topo will continue to strengthen our Owned Brands portfolio and help extend our reach around the world.”
“Topo’s focus on helping people achieve healthy lifestyle goals aligns perfectly with Designer Brands’ mission to inspire self-expression,” said Post. “We found synergy with their management team from our first meeting. They understand our brand mission, they support our strategy and focus around specialty retail and they’re excited about our growing global footprint. Nothing really changes in our strategy, distribution direction or the management team. Designer Brands brings a deep set of resources that will help Topo continue to grow, innovate and deliver a better experience for our customers for years to come.”