Fila North America has appointed Jennifer Estabrook, the Sparks-based sneaker maker's former chief operating officer, as president after the death of previous president Jon Epstein in February.
Estabrook has been acting president since Epstein died Feb. 15 after heart surgery.
“Jennifer Estabrook was the steady hand the FILA North America family turned to without hesitation as we faced the shock and profound sadness of Jon Epstein’s death,” FILA Chairman Gene Yoon said in an announcement Friday. “In the weeks since, our formal review has confirmed what Jon himself knew and said often: That Jennifer has the industry savvy, financial and operational command, and passion for the brand to guide Fila to its next stage of disciplined, high-octane global growth.”
Fila, the once hot sports brand of the 1990s with a Sparks-based US headquarters, is seeing a revival thanks to its retro appeal and the bulky sneaker trend. The now Korean-owned company with a growing Balimore presence has even signed a new deal with its former NBA star endorser, Grant Hill.
The Fila brand, which has roots in tennis and an Italian heritage, has been connecting with a new generation thanks to its retro appeal and collaborations with stores such as Urban Outfitters. It has seen success with its Disrupter sneakers, a new take on a chunky shoe from Fila’s 1990s archives.
The sports apparel maker’s parent company, Fila Korea, had announced last week during its annual shareholder meeting in Seoul that it reached record levels of revenue, profits and stock price last year.
Under the Korean ownership’s current business model under, license holders around the world design and make Fila products for their markets. Fila North America maintains executive offices in New York in addition to its headquarters in Sparks.
Estabrook has worked for Fila North America and its affiliates since 2005, in roles such as executive vice president of business operations and head of global licensing.