The Future Of Retail
There was a time when starting a consumer products business required you to have significant investment, powerful relationships, and buy-in from a retail store. Digitization and changing customer behavior has lowered the barriers to entry, meaning everything you need to get started is more readily available online. But where does that leave brick and mortar, and with the over saturation of e-commerce businesses, how do you differentiate yourself and continue to acquire and retain customers? Join us to hear a panel of experts discussing The Future of Retail and meet other founders, designers, marketers, and retail experts.
Abrima Erwiah – Designer and co-founder, Studio 189
Abrima Erwiah has more than 16 years of fashion and luxury experience. She is a former global marketing and communications executive for Bottega Veneta, a luxury-goods company under Kering (former Gucci Group/PPR) Group where she stayed for nearly a decade. She has additionally held positions for Hermes/John Lobb, Bureau Betak and Cesare Paciotti. In 2012, she was appointed a Marketing & Communications Executive Mentor by the Kering Foundation for Women’s Dignity & Rights, to an organization based in Uganda called AFRIpads that makes affordable, washable sanitary napkins to help curb school absenteeism for girls skipping school when they have their period mostly in rural areas.
Erwiah is currently co-founder and co-creative director of a social enterprise called Studio One Eighty Nine that she co-founded with actress and activist, Rosario Dawson, which is focused on achieving social impact as it relates to education, economic/employment opportunities, and empowerment.
Mara Hoffman – Designer and founder, Mara Hoffman
Mara Hoffman started her company after graduating from Parsons School of Design in 2000 by dying one of a kind, hand-made pieces out of her apartment in New York City.
Historically known for her detailed prints, the designer’s recent collections encompass a devotion to color, abstract designs, and approachable silhouettes. Hoffman, a living embodiment of her designs, draws inspiration from travel, art and the human experience and looks to celebrate the strength, beauty, and power of all women.
Hoffman and her team continually evaluate their supply chain and its environmental impact, working to understand how the company can do better in all steps from design and packaging to the way they speak to consumers. The heightened focus on sustainable practices is reflected in pieces that live longer and can be worn more.
Headquartered in New York City, Hoffman, an active member of the CFDA, is the President and Creative Director of her independent label. Originally from Buffalo, NY, she lives in Brooklyn with her husband, artist Javier Piñon, and their son Joaquin
June Haynes – Luxury retail consultant
June’s career began at Barneys New York flagship store on Madison Avenue, as the manager for the designer floor. It was there that she met Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana. The result was an offer to open the first Dolce & Gabbana boutique in America. Shortly thereafter, June was promoted to Director of Stores, a position she held for eight years sharing her time between NYC and Milan while working directly with the company’s Chairman and CEO on strategies for retail expansion.
In 2003, June moved to the luxury fashion house Valentino and held a position as Senior Vice President for retail. She was responsible for the return on investment of all Valentino boutiques as well as the direct supervision of strategic planning, creation of customer culture and client experiences, sales growth, and business expansion. In 2007, she succeeded the additional task of the refinement of Valentino’s retail strategy for Japan and Hong Kong. Her career as an executive leader flourished at Valentino, where she was also valued for her ability to impact and influence customer purchases.
June utilized her more than 27 years of experience in the luxury industry crossing different market regions of North America, Europe and the Middle East, to open her own global consultancy firm—June Haynes Luxury Retailing (JHLR)—which focuses on growth strategy, client engagement, retail retention at brick-and-mortar & e-commerce, recruiting top talents, identifying product curation and opening retail locations globally for luxury brands including Chrome Hearts, Jacob & Co, VBH Luxury, Gianvito Rossi, and Elie Saab.
The Former First Lady Michelle Obama asked June to participate in her Fashion Education Workshop at the White House, where June spoke about multiple topics relating to the luxury industry, including global retailing, entrepreneurship, and industry crossover between fashion and hospitality.
Jean Godfrey June – Executive Beauty Editor, Goop
Called “one of the most influential beauty journalists in America,” Godfrey-June joined goop after a two-decade-long career as a beauty and style editor in print and digital media.
Godfrey-June debuted a namesake column (that continues as“Ask Jean” today on goop) as the beauty director at ELLE. In 2001, Godfrey-June joined Lucky as part of the founding editorial team, where she expanded her beauty director role to include fashion, web and social media content, as well as branding and marketing and helped develop programs that ranged from one of the first-ever blogger conferences to re-platforming the magazine’s digital presence. Before coming to goop, Godfrey-June served as the beauty director of The Wall Street Journal Magazine.
Godfrey-June is the author of the bestselling Free Gift With Purchase: My Improbable Career in Magazines and Makeup, which The New York Times called “a witty, confectionary memoir.”Along with her editorial positions, she has had a prolific freelance career, writing for a range of publications, from Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar to Town & Country and ELLE Décor. She’s also consulted on content, product development, and marketing for companies including SK-II, Dolce & Gabbana, Origins, One King’s Lane, LVMH, Estee Lauder, and Coty.
Godfrey-June has two children and lives in Nyack, New York. She is a graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Batsheva Hay – Designer and founder, Batsheva
Queens-born Batsheva Hay started her eponymous label two years ago after leaving her job as a lawyer and deciding to experiment with designing dresses for herself and her daughter. Growing up, Batsheva’s artist mother would often take her to flea markets and vintage shops, dressing her in antique calico dresses, which became Batsheva’s uniform throughout her time at Stanford University and Georgetown Law School. After leaving her job at a big law firm, she began to redesign some vintage dresses, which were worn to bits and quickly became obsessed with the design process. She bought her fabrics on eBay and at quilting shops, and she still uses vintage and limited-run cotton quilting fabric to make her clothing.
Batsheva initially made a small collection of four matching mother-daughter dresses and set up a simple website. As her dresses got more attention from magazines and retailers, her collections grew. Now she is designing four collections a year.
Batsheva lives on the Upper West Side with her husband, photographer Alexei Hay, who she collaborates with on brand imagery, and their two small children, Ruth and Solomon.
– – –
After Work by WIE is an intimate monthly salon series that highlights the work and careers of inspirational men and women, and engages them in a lively Q&A and general discussion about their work and career turning points. Sign up to our mailing list at www.wienetwork.org.