David Briskin was the chief executive of Sass & Bide between 2009 and 2014, assuming the position when he invested in the company with proceeds from the sale of Mimco, an Australian accessories brand he founded and ran with his former wife.
The executive intended to construct an Australian luxury group with Sass & Bide as its cornerstone. Briskin says, “Fashion’s still a fairly new industry here, there’s money to be made from clothes here, [but] original design is crucial. This is not a business that copies trend, or even follows trend – and that’s the strength.”
Briskin believed the commercial success of Australia’s first luxury group should not come at high human cost, echoing the sentiment of Sarah Jane Clarke and Heidi Middleton, Sass & Bide’s founders and designers, who joined the International Trade Centre's Ethical Fashion Initiative. “Fashion needs to be fairer, at our end of the market, ethical production is very achievable.''
Briskin was instrumental in arranging for a 65 percent stake of Sass & Bide to be sold to the Australian department store chain Myer for $42 million in 2011. He became executive chairman of the company in 2013, when Myer took full control of the brand for another $30 million.
In February 2014, David became a shareholder in and Director of M.J. Bale, one of Australia’s leading designer menswear brands, and is a shareholder and strategic advisor to Maiyet, a New York-based fashion brand that works with artisans from across the globe to foster sustainable businesses. In 2017, he was appointed chairman of the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival, which saw a record 444,000 visitors the previous year, and is also a guest lecturer for Monash University's MBA Programme.