Women's Wear Daily: Steven Barbery Joins Madaluxe Group as Executive Vice President
November 9, 2017
Madaluxe Group is growing its team.
The luxury distribution firm, which made a deal with Timex in January, has tapped Steven Barbery to oversee the Madaluxe Timepieces division. He was previously the vice president of Michele watches and the vice president of luxury brands at Fossil Group.
Adam Freede, cofounder and president of Madaluxe Group, said Madaluxe Timepieces is a "growing division" of the company and Barbery's appointment is expected to help the firm reach a broader market, especially the Millennial consumer, which it views as a growth opportunity.
In January, Madaluxe Group launched its timepieces division via a deal with Timex. Before partnering with Madaluxe, Timex's product was distributed in North America by the New Dover Group.
Now almost a year into the partnership, Paolo Marai, president and chief executive officer of the Timex Group Luxury Division, said the partnership has allowed Timex to better target a younger consumer with collections such as its Versace and Versus Versace watch lines that were released this month.
"It's very important to create timepieces that people can immediately recognize and connect to a brand," said Marai. "We are making sure the Versace and Versus Versace collections are more aligned with the seasonal fashion collections."
Barbery said he is especially eager to start working with brands such as Versace and Versus Versace, and believes Madaluxe "is perfectly positioned to bring these timepieces to our retail partners across North America's luxury and aspiring luxury markets."
Marai said despite the emphasis on the smart watch category, there has been an uptick in Swiss-made watches and younger customers are researching them online before purchasing them in store.
"Smartwatches have created more confusion than business," said Marai. "A lot have been sold, but very [few] are worn. Department stores put too much emphasis on the category and gave it too much space."