140 – Karen Harvey of Fashion Tech Forum – Now and Zen

Karen Harvey on technology and luxury brands…

img_7227-minKaren Harvey (bio), CEO/Founder of Fashion Tech Forum (a platform of discovery and inspiration for the leaders of fashion, retail and technology sectors to collaborate to build communities and the disruptive, sustainable brands of the future), INDX (a two-sided fashion marketplace) and CEO of Karen Harvey Consulting Group (an international consulting firm focused on executive search, brand incubation and advisory services for luxury, fashion, retail and innovation-driven companies), joins Pavan Bahl, Marc Raco and Rob Sanchez. This episode recorded at the offices of Nomad Financial in New York City.

Change, luxury, and data

Karen Harvey 3Harvey discusses talent, how an industry like technology requires experience and expertise, how fashion and retail industries make progress, where ecommerce sits in retail and marketing, how the fashion sector wasn’t certain whether technology was important to what they were doing, and cultural differences. Plus David Freshman, Intel having a place in Paris on runway, and why Harvey is a digital immigrant.

How the vision of the Fashion Tech Forum changed over time, asking fashion and tech sectorsKaren Harvey 4 who would run these companies in the future, who is qualified to run them now, cultural differences between fashion and technology sectors, how Harvey’s consulting firm is about talent, the threat of businesses being hijacked, realizing that fashion tech is now a sector, Harvey’s pride of the fashion industry catching up, and the biggest change she has seen. Luxury was most resistant to technology, and now leading discovery and digital, the growth of luxury online storytelling, and selling expensive items via ecommerce. And how data plays into the next conversation. Why data is noise for designers, having vision to get there but not knowing how, and how talent solves this. Keeping up with demand for consulting, developing parallel paths instead of seasons, Harvey’s reaction to Rebecca Minkoff’s street pop up, and how the more engagement with brand and customers, the better.

Fashion Tech Forum, leaders and storytelling

Karen Harvey 2Always looking ahead as an entrepreneur, how Harvey’s businesses are connected, and why she started a business, all about culture, and ways talent can show their work in a way not edited by intermediary. Fashion Tech Forum focuses on innovation, C-Level execs, innovation hub, White Space Gallery, brand incubation, helping businesses prepare to meet investors, curating speakers and drawing companies that both fashion and technology sectors will be interested in. How Fashion Tech Forum chooses speakers, and the focus on challenges and issues both sides face. And, how CEOs, and founders will share stories of leadership and transformation during challenging times.

Moving from merchant leader to marketer leader because that’s closest to consumer. Sustainability, connectivity, importance of storytelling shifting as one of the biggest pivots of industry, and how one picture doesn’t tell the story anymore. A hunger for content, raising awareness and help leaders with process, leaving a mark of awareness, having courage to try and do new things, and the impact of collaboration. Plus, the ultimate goal.

The Blue Project, Zen and gratitude

Off the Grid Questions covers The Blue Project, helping moms get back to work, a Zen practitioner, confusion at 22, body, breath and mind, glass ceiling, and gratitude.


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