Wednesday, April 18, 2012
8AM – 10AM
Fashion Group International of Chicago, Inc. present a dialogue with Alexis Maybank McCluskey, Chief Marketing Officer, and Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, Chief Merchandising Officer, of Gilt Groupe on their upcoming book tour “By Invitation Only”. Meet these two dynamic women in an intimate setting.
TICKETS $40 for FGI members; $50 for guests
About Alexis Maybank McCluskey
Risk-taker could be Alexis Maybank‘s middle name. The founder of members-only fashion site Gilt Groupe Inc. has lived on an Alaskan glacier, visited the Arctic and hitchhiked in the Andes. But perhaps her biggest risk was leaving a secure post in investment banking to join eBay in 1998, long before e-commerce went mainstream. There, she worked on launching the company’s Canadian and automobile businesses.
Three years ago, after receiving her MBA from Harvard Business School, she rolled the dice once again to start Gilt. The site, which sells designer merchandise at deep discounts, was an instant success; it now has more than 2 million members and carries more than 700 brands.
“We took a lot of the experience of sample sales here in New York–which we would sneak out of work to attend–and created the same thrill online,” explains Alexis.
Gilt‘s revenue-generating power is a thrill, too: The firm brought in $175 million last year and expects to be near $400 million by December. That has encouraged copycat sales sites, including a recent sample-sale venture from eBay. But Alexis, who bought her bridal gown through Gilt last year, remains confident.
“By working directly with the vendors, we have strong relationships,” the Upper East Side resident notes.
And she keeps expanding Gilt as well. She’s added more home-decor items and furniture, and debuted a Jetsetter business, which offers luxury hotel stays and experiences like skiing with the U.S. ski team.
About Alexandra Wilkis Wilson
Alexandra is Founder and Chief Merchandising Officer of Gilt Groupe Inc., the online members only luxury and fashion sample sale website that launched November 2007. Alexandra has ten years of international experience in the luxury goods, retail and finance sectors. Most recently she oversaw retail operations at BVLGARI overseeing 15 North American stores. Prior to that Alexandra managed Leather Goods Sales Planning for Louis Vuitton North America. She started her retail career as a consultant for retail guru Marvin Traub at Financo Inc. Alexandra previously worked for three years in investment banking at Merrill Lynch. She holds a B.A. and M.B.A. from Harvard University. She speaks five languages.
Since Gilt Groupe’s November 2007 launch, both Alexis and Alexandra have been featured in publications such as Forbes, Fortune, Crain’s, The Wall Street Journal, Women’s Wear Daily, InStyle, The Los Angeles Times and The New York Observer in addition to on-air appearances on ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC’s nationwide.
About “By Invitation Only”
Bloomberg Businessweek wrote, In 2007 two Harvard Business School grads, Alexis Maybank and Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, joined forces with Silicon Valley entrepreneur Kevin Ryan to found the e-commerce sample sale site Gilt Groupe. What began as a small, fashion-based startup has ballooned into an almost 900-employee business, currently helmed by former Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Chief Executive Officer Susan Lyne, with more than 5 million members and a market value of over $1 billion. The site has expanded beyond fashion to also include high-end deals in travel, food, and home furnishings, and is currently eyeing an initial public offering. With the publication of their new book, “By Invitation Only: How We Built Gilt and Change the Way Million Shop” (Portfolio/Penguin),
About Fashion Group International of Chicago, Inc.
It all began in 1928 when 17 women, gathered by Edna Woolman Chase, Editor-in-Chief of Vogue, met for lunch in a modest midtown New York restaurant. They had three things in common: Each held a job of consequence in the business of fashion, each held all the others in high regard and together they held a belief that fashion needed a forum, a stage, or a force to express and enhance a widening awareness of the American fashion business and of women’s roles in that business.
The Fashion Group®, conceived at an informal luncheon in 1928 became an organization in 1930, with a place, a purpose, by-laws, officers and women eager to be members.ork restaurant. Fashion Group International of Chicago, Inc.
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