The Yorga Group, a big Spanish shoe retailer and distributor, has created a company in the U.S. for the distribution of the Coolway brand and other private labels owned by the group in the U.S. and Canada. The group owns and manages a total of about 150 retail shops, including more than 50 Ulanka stores in Spain and an Ulanka flagship store in London.
The Spanish group, which was previously involved in manufacturing and is still involved in real estate, is owned by the Mayordomo family and run by its third generation. It sells Coolway and a dozen other private labels in its own stores, along with other brands, but the group decided a few months ago to offer Coolway internationally. Other private labels will follow from 2016.
Coolway, which uses leather and is made for the most part in Spain, also has three stores in Spain and one store in Cologne. It will open another store in Andorra this August and one more in Cyprus by the end of this year.
The group has hired top-notch executives for the internationalization of Coolway and for its expansion in the U.S., where it wants to introduce the Ulanka retail concept and open a couple of Coolway stores. It is also aiming to buy a 30-49 percent share in a leading American shoe brand whose name could not be learnt.
The U.S. subsidiary of the Yorga Group, which is called Fashion Major Brands, is fully owned by the Mayordomo family and registered in Delaware but operates from Los Angeles. Sitting on the board of the U.S. company are the three brothers Marcos Mayordomo, president of Yorga Holdings, David Mayordomo, responsible for Yorga's retail operations, and Carlos Mayordomo, president of Vanyor, the company that distributes the Coolway brand globally.
The chief executive of the subsidiary is Luis Mascarenhas Pessoa, who had been appointed by the Yorga Group a year ago to the new position of vice president, international, with responsibility for the Yorga Group's international expansion. Mascarenhas Pessoa had previously worked as international sales director for International Brand Partners, part owner of Ccilu, the new, colorful brand of EVA shoes run by an American veteran of the shoe industry, Killick Datta.
Other former collaborators of Datta have joined Yorga's new project. Scott Home, ex-president of Chinese Laundry and former president of sales for Diesel Footwear and Dr. Martens in the U.S., joined Fashion Major Brands as president of sales on June 1. Todd Lemere, previously vice president of global operations for International Brand Partners, joined Fashion Major Brands as chief operating officer on July 1. Lemere worked in the past as brand manager for Bata and as senior director of international operations for Skechers, one of the numerous brands that Datta has worked for. The Yorga Group has been a distributor of Skechers in Spain in the past.
Yorga has already signed several new distribution contracts for Coolway around the world. From spring 2015, the brand will be distributed in France by GPG Company, a former distributor of Diesel Footwear and Dr. Martens, which currently represents also Diadora, Dupé and Hickies in the French market. Previously, Coolway was sold by an agency in France with good sell-throughs in the stores.
In other moves, the Spanish group has named Augustin Vizcaino as head of global sourcing and product development. He previously worked at Inditex as head of global sourcing for Zara, Massimo Dutti and Bershka in India. Xavi Lopez, a former sales agent for Ecco, joined the management of Coolway as commercial director for Spain and Portugal.
By the end of this month, the Yorga Group plans to hire new people from Spain and the U.S. to work for the group's design department and to develop a global collection of handbags and other accessories for men and women.