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Konheim is remembered as a mentor, a forward thinker and the ultimate raconteur.
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Bud Konheim first hired Nicole Miller as a designer for P.J. Walsh in the late Seventies and in the decades that followed the duo built a sizeable designer business from the ground up. Starting out of the gate with $4 million in first-year sales, the business partners were off and running. The fourth generation in his family to immerse himself in New York’s fashion industry, Konheim kept a gimlet eye on the arcs and pitfalls of Seventh Avenue. The Dartmouth graduate and former Marine may not have had the stereotypical background to excel in the cutthroat world of fashion, but his flat-out candidness disarmed pretty much everyone he met. Wondering what his thoughts were was rarely an issue — he would not only tell you but would also spell out how that played out in the worldwide landscape. The fast-talking, amiable executive started a 2007 presentation at WWD’s Sourcing Leadership Forum by greeting his “fellow sourcerers.” But truth be told, at times Konheim had Nostradamus tendencies in predicting what lay ahead for the fashion business. Konheim pegged such milestones as: • The demise of shopping malls in 1990. • The waning power of department stores in 1988. • The powerRead More...
Time-starved consumers, mobile shopping and ailing shopping malls are among the numerous now-norms that Nicole Miller’s chief executive officer Bud Konheim predicted decades ago. The quintessential optimist, who liked to boast that he never had a bad day, was always willing to lend an ear to the opposing side. Konheim once explained to a friend, “I have a problem spending too much time in my ‘comfort zone.’ It comes from years of running a fashion business. I get paid to handle the bad news, not revel in the good. When a day goes by and I haven’t heard any bad news, I get itchy because I know every day produces bad news, I just haven’t heard it. Similarly, with political, military opinions and ‘facts.’ The only way I feel comfortable in what I believe is to hear the opposing view. Sometime the opposing view actually makes more sense than mine.” Here, a recap of the many fashion, business and societal shifts that Konheim sensed long before they materialized. On enacting the voluntary drug testing of employees to ensure a sober workplace in 1986. “Nobody has to take the test if they don’t want to. I don’t want to be hysterical about it. But we’reRead More...
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Jay Norris, a former retail real estate broker, got the idea for Guesst, a store-sharing technology platform, when he realized his clients weren’t looking to open more units, but rather, shrink existing ones. Norris said Guesst’s pop-shares allow brands to sell their products at fully staffed and merchandised retail locations for a fraction of the cost of a pop-up shop. Retailers can benefit from a new revenue stream without the risk and expense of holding inventory since brands provide products on consignment. “I have a lot of tenants, but none of them can afford to expand,” Norris said. “I did a bunch of pop-share deals. It helps retailers meet the needs of their fixed costs. I decided it had to be automated and a marketplace, where retailers can find complementary brands.” Retail roommates is another way to describe Guesst’s matchmaking technology, which supports clients such as Steven Alan and John Hardy on the retail side, and brands such as Public School. “We can help you curate in a different way,” Norris said. “Why don’t you uncover emerging brands. We can almost give spaces new life with this model and new fresh brands.” Alan, who is an investor and adviser to Guesst, at one timeRead More...