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French Sole appoints new sales and marketing director

Steve Wright has become French Sole’s sales and marketing director as the footwear brand looks to grow its international business.

Wright replaces Russell Downing in the role, and was most recently chief executive at the Gitanjali Group’s jewellery company Leading Italian Jewels.

Before this he was sales director at Swarovski UK between 2007 and 2012, during which retail and wholesale turnover more than doubled from £40m to £82m.

His appointment comes as French Sole plots the opening of between 10 and 12 franchise stores in six new territories over the next year, starting with Canada and Australia this autumn. It is looking for distributors and agents to break into the new markets.

It has franchise stores in Malaysia, China and the Philippines, and five stores in the UK, although it would not reveal the number of wholesale and franchise accounts it has.

Wright, who joined the company on July 1, said: “My focus will be to develop the international and domestic wholesale and franchise channels in line with the brand’s objectives and I expect to see some rapid growth.”

Downing has left French Sole and emigrated to Australia.

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