July 11, 2016

Castanea Partners Appoints Javan Bunch as CEO of Donald J Pliner

Castanea Partners announced today that Javan Bunch has joined Donald J Pliner, its portfolio investment in luxury footwear and accessories, as Chief Executive Officer.

“Javan brings a wealth of strategic and organizational leadership capabilities, having spent many years as an experienced and highly successful merchandiser and brand builder in the luxury footwear sector,” said Brian Knez, Managing Partner of Castanea. “We look forward to working closely with Javan as he leads the company through its next stage of development.”

Prior to joining Donald J Pliner, Javan was Executive Vice President of global merchandising and domestic wholesale for footwear, handbags, and accessories at Tory Burch LLC. Prior to that, Javan was Senior Vice President of licensed businesses and domestic wholesale at Coach, Inc., where he was responsible for merchandising and design of shoes, eyewear, watches, and fragrance. Additionally, he has held senior management positions at The Camuto Group, Isabella Fiore, and Joan and David. Javan is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Business School.

“I am excited to join Donald J Pliner, a brand synonymous with craftsmanship in men’s and women’s luxury footwear and accessories,” said Javan Bunch. “I look forward to building on its legacy to further develop a compelling brand and product story for our customers.”

Noel Hord, Donald J Pliner’s former CEO, intends to assume a non-executive director seat on the company’s board. “Noel helped successfully re-position and strengthen the brand over the last four years and we look forward to his continued contribution to the company as a Director,” said Brian Knez.

About Donald J Pliner

The Donald J Pliner Company was founded in 1989 by distinguished footwear designer Donald J Pliner. The brand is known for its combination of fashion, fit and comfort that embodies each design. The company’s products are sold nationwide in select specialty stores and upscale department stores and the collection is also available at the company’s retail stores and on donaldjpliner.com.

About Castanea

Castanea is a private equity firm that works in partnership with founders and management teams of innovative passion brands to grow their businesses through a combination of capital investment and operating expertise. We are focused on select consumer verticals including beauty, food and beverage, multi-unit services, and enthusiast lifestyle. We typically invest between $15 to $150 million of equity in minority or majority transactions. Our team of talented operating executives offers critical expertise in key verticals and functional areas, and provides our partner companies with strategic and tactical support. Castanea has more than $1 billion in assets under management and is currently investing from a $735 million fourth fund. For more information about Castanea Partners read our story.

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