CEO Talk | Paolo Fontanelli, Chief Executive Officer, Furla

Paolo Fontanelli, CEO of Furla

LONDON, United Kingdom — This Great Recession has proven difficult for many fashion companies positioned ‘in the middle.’ Between the ultra-luxe brands like Hermès and Louis Vuitton (whose performance has continued to impress, despite the downturn) and the mass-market miracles like American Apparel and Uniqlo (who are also outperforming the market), are aspirational luxury brands like Coach, who recently reported that

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CEO Talk | Wen Zhou, Chief Executive Officer, 3.1 Phillip Lim

Wen Zhou, CEO of 3.1 Phillip Lim courtesy of Akira Yamada

NEW YORK, United States —Mention the name Wen Zhou to the average fashion fanatic on the street, or even ‘important’ fashion editors, and they may shrug their sh0ulders, not recognising the name. But, mention her name to fashion industry insiders, especially retailers and independent fashion brands, and invariably the words “dynamo”, “amazing” and “genius” will be volleyed right back

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CEO Talk | Sara Ferrero, Chief Executive Officer, Joseph Group

Sara Ferrero, CEO of Joseph Group

LONDON, United Kingdom — Sara Ferrero is one of those once rare but increasingly common fashion executives who spent the early part of their careers outside the fashion industry. After six years at McKinsey & Company, the management consultancy, she entered the fashion business at Furla, the Italian accessories brand. Under her leadership, Furla’s retail sales tripled to over 360 million euros in less than five years.

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CEO Talk | Bonnie Takhar, Chief Executive Officer and President, Halston

Bonnie Takhar, courtesy of Halston

NEW YORK, United States — The trend for showing collections online, in lieu of runway shows, has been gathering steam in recent seasons. But, perhaps no initiative has been as ambitious as that of Halston, which debuted its own video presentation for Fall 2009 this past week. Whereas brands like Marc Bouwer and Viktor & Rolf have previously shown online videos of looks going down the runway, Halston instead developed a bespoke,

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CEO Talk | Jeffrey Kapelman, Chief Executive Officer, Hilldun Corporation

NEW YORK, United States — Even in the best of times, it’s tough for fashion start-ups to access the capital they need to sustain their growth and expansion. But today, it’s downright brutal. The usual private investment sources like angel investors and early-stage venture capital, which were limited to begin with, have dried up. What’s more, fashion boutiques can be notoriously slow at paying their invoices and

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CEO Talk | Alex Bolen, Chief Executive Officer, Oscar de la Renta

Alex Bolen, CEO, Oscar de la Renta

NEW YORK, United States – It’s a new year, but the news hasn’t changed all that much for the luxury business. In fact, as the numbers roll in from the holiday season and for the fourth quarter of 2008, many executives’ worst fears are playing out. It’s a good thing the industry has leaders like Alex Bolen around to keep us all optimistic. A few seasons ago, I received an invitation to the Oscar de la

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CEO Talk | Priya Kishore, Founder and Creative Director, Bombay Electric

Priya Kishore, a beacon for Bombay's new creative elite, courtesy of Bombay Electric

NEW DELHI, India – When Priya Kishore and Bombay Electric hit Mumbai a few years ago, Mumbaikars didn’t know what was coming. No sooner had Kishore arrived than she became a beacon for Bombay’s new creative elite – one with a rightful place on the world stage. A friend while she lived in London, Priya always had this wonderful creative streak, dressed in quirky clothes and popping colours. No wonder Mumbai

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CEO Talk | Susan Lyne, Chief Executive Officer, Gilt Groupe

Susan Lyne | Source: Levo League

NEW YORK, United States - Even before Susan Lyne left her high-profile CEO post at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSLO) earlier this year, the media world speculated wildly about where she might go next. Would she take a senior role at media giant Time Inc? Or would she end up in Hollywood, where she could bring to bear some of her experience from ABC, the American television network,whose fortunes she was credited with reviving

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CEO Talk | Camilla Skovgaard, Shoe designer and entrepreneur

Camilla Skovgaard | Source: Shine Group

HONG KONG, China - Camilla Skovgaard is one of those rare aberrations of the current economic malaise. While almost all other designers I have spoken to are nervously reporting order cancellations and declining or flat sales, Skovgaard’s shoes have chalked up triple-digit increases for Spring/Summer 2009. Of course, part of this growth can be explained by the rapid growth of the luxury shoe category — it’s a case

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