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Office founder devises new footwear concept

Footwear veteran David Casey, the co-founder and former owner of Office, is to launch a new high-end footwear concept.
Casey plans to open his first shop early next year in Hampstead or Mayfair in London, and has trademarked the name Author to hang above the door.

Casey attended footwear trade show Micam in Milan last week and placed orders for spring 08 ranges. He told Drapers: “I haven’t signed on the dotted line yet, but if all goes well I’ll be opening three or four shops next year. I want to find property that is so remote you can only cycle there and I’m going to creep back into the market quietly. However, landlords are very powerful and property is pricey.”

Author will sell high-end footwear and Casey is to target UK labels including Georgina Goodman and United Nude. Alongside footwear, Author will also sell one-off accessories and vintage goods.

Casey has been out of the footwear industry for four years following entrepreneur Sir Tom Hunter’s £15m acquisition of Office in 2003. The deal included Office, Offspring and designer concepts Poste and Poste Mistress, and is thought to have netted Casey and his wife Liz more than £10m.

Richard Wharton, who helped Casey set up Office, has also returned to the footwear sector. He is consulting at footwear retail group Stylo on revitalising its Shellys chain.

Casey added that he was scouting the market for someone to help him run Author. “I am looking for Richard Wharton number two,” he said.

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