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Haute Hippie hires Robert Feinberg as president

By Kristopher Fraser

Mar 1, 2016

Haute Hippie has hired Robert Feinberg as their president. Feinberg's first day on the job was yesterday, Monday, February 29. The company hopes that under his direction they will be able to grow their retail presence and their number of wholesale accounts.

Women's contemporary brands have been facing a very tough time in the market. Feinberg believes that in order for Haute Hippie to fund success, they need to work on changing their product offerings to be better able to compete with the European contemporary brands that are doing so well.

Feinberg is no stranger to building a brand. Prior to his new role as president of Haute Hippie, he spent 20 years as chief executive officer of Kay Unger New York, a dress line he built from the ground up after working for brands like Gillian and AJ Bari.

Last year, Haute Hippie was acquired by Hilco Global, luxury distributor Madaluxe, and licensing firm Earthbound.

Trish Wescoat Pound founded Haute Hippie in 2008. The company found its place in the market with being one of the few high-end contemporary brands that offer comfortable, yet sexy travel-ready styles. The company found success despite launching during the recession, but in the wake of the struggling women's contemporary market, many of their stores have closed.

Cady Vacarro, a former senior designer director at Alice + Olivia, was hired by Haute Hippie's new owners as creative director to try and reinvigorate the brand. Under her direction, the label has taken innovative approaches to their offerings such as cutting leather into strips and weaving it into one jacket, or using up to four prints in one garment.

Despite the store closures, Haute Hippie still has a strong retail presence in stores such as Nordstrom, Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, and Saks Fifth Avenue. In addition, they are sold in over 350 doors in the United States, as well as 50 countries.

The owners are looking to continue growing their number of retail doors and grow the business through new designs, omnichannel sales strategy, licensing, and additional marketing.

Jeffrey Hecktman, chairman and ceo of Hilco, told WWD, “We are sending a clear signal to the marketplace that Haute Hippie will continue to be a leader in the women’s contemporary space.”