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Jacobson Group owner hands over the reins after 30 years

Jacobson Group owner Harvey Jacobson will step back from the day-to-day running of the footwear supply business in the summer after 30 years in charge, to focus on strategy and new ventures.

Jacobson will become chairman and will hand the running of the group, which owns the Gola brand and a high street supply business, to branded sales director Tony Evans.

Evans has worked at Jacobson Group for 16 years, working his way up from sales executive to his current role. He has been a board director for more than five years.

Separately. Jacobson Group has teamed up with Daren Roe, who previously ran footwear supplier DR Shoes, to launch a men’s footwear brand. In a first for the group, it has entered into a joint venture with Roe, who previously owned footwear brands Babycham and Nanny State via the now defunct DR Shoes business, to launch Dispair for autumn 11.

Roe will manage the brand day to day, but will work closely with Jacobson Group on warehousing, distribution and marketing.

The group describes Dispair - meaning to split a pair - as a “quirky, London’s East End-inspired” brand. The autumn 11 collection comprises dandy-influenced loafers and hybrid trainers on heavy cleated soles accessorised with hiker laces, alongside more formal styles with leather soles in burnished suedes and distressed leathers. Wholesale prices range from £16 to £50.

Roe said he would expand the brand slowly, focusing initially on UK stockists with a view to launching in Europe at a later stage.

Jacobson told Drapers: “Tony’s role as managing director will oversee Dispair and he will work closely with Daren on this.”

Readers' comments (1)

  • Tony will do a fantastic job, and great that Harvey will stay on as chairman. His experience and vision is hugely inspirational, particularly in a tough sector.

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