Having joined the British Footwear Association’s (BFA) board of directors in October 2021, Jane Wilson has succeeded Robert Perkins as BFA chairman, effective immediately.

Wilson has spent her entire career in the footwear industry. Her previous roles include chief executive of Start-Rite Shoes, group product director at Clarks International, and co-founder of Moot Management Consulting, where clients have included brands such as ECCO and BATA. She is currently CEO of the William Lamb Group and an independent consultant to the wider footwear industry.

BFA CEO, Lucy Reece Raybould says: “I would like to thank Robert personally and on behalf of the board for his contribution to the BFA. We have valued his knowledge and the continuity he has provided as a non-executive director and as chairman since 2016. Looking to the future, I very much look forward to achieving the BFA’s next goals and objectives with the support and guidance of Jane, whose breadth of experience in the footwear sector has been a welcome addition to the board since she joined in October 2021.”

Wilson adds: “It is an honour to build on Robert’s legacy and to work with such an experienced and talented team of directors. I am proud of how committed we all are to the sector. We are determined to be an outstanding voice for the British footwear industry and represent our members’ best interests while bringing the whole sector together to ensure businesses have sustainable and successful futures. As we say, the BFA is “building our future together”.

Perkins explains: “I joined the BFA to give something back to an industry that has been very generous to me, both in terms of the things I’ve learned and the friends I’ve made. I have known Jane for many years. She understands the shoe industry with as much breadth as I do. In her, the BFA is getting someone who can build on and develop the expertise and knowledge of the sector. And I expect the association will go from strength to strength as its relevance to all businesses becomes increasingly evident in the coming times.”

The BFA has also welcomed non-executive director Annette Cove to the board. She is the founder of specialist footwear recruitment agency Annette Cove Associates, and is said to have a rich and diverse footwear background with Clarks and The British Shoe Corporation, through to directorship roles at the Pentland Group with both Red or Dead and the sports brand Ellesse.

Cove comments: “I am delighted to take up this role, I am passionate and enthusiastic about our footwear industry, and it is a real privilege to use my skills, experience and connections to assist the BFA in achieving its purpose.”

As a membership-based organisation, the British Footwear Association comprises a network of UK-based footwear manufacturers, designers, wholesalers, service providers and retailers. Its focus is to promote and enable the footwear sector both domestically and across the globe through a range of activities.