You may not recognise the name Andrew Rosen but does Theory ring a bell? The middle market retailer was established by Rosen back in 1997 with Elie Tahari and really paved the way for the contemporary market which is dominating the industry right now. In recognition of his sucess the Wall Street Journal have released a big feature on him titled, 'A Homegrown Fashion Mogul'.
While the term 'mogul' seems to be applied to any reality TV star making money off the back of their show or in the case of Kim Kardashian has more Twitter followers that Barack Obama, Rosen actually fits the bill. Theory has grown from yearly sales of $30 million back to $700 million today and last year he helped take the brand to the next level by hiring the brilliant Olivier Theyskens to serve as a creative director for his own line under the Theory umbrella.
But it doesn't just end there. Rosen helped pump financial support to several key young American brands like Proenza Schouler, Rag & Bone and Alice + Olivia, helping take their businesses to the next level. 'We don't have a Gucci or LVMH in this country," Anna Wintour said of Rosen, "but in his own way, Andrew is creating a kind of American equivalent.' And it's true. Rosen has pretty much done for contemporary brands what the big European conglomerates have done for luxury brands. If Lazaro Hernandez is anything to go by, Rosen might actually be doing a better job for these young brands. 'I mean, we hang out,' he told the title. 'If we wanted to be employees, we would have gone to one of the big vacant houses in Europe.' Rosen suggested the same thing at the time when the Proenza deal was announced. 'We believe that the Proenza business is the future of American luxury, and uniquely poised to compete in a global marketplace, which is currently dominated by European designers.'
Do you agree with Wintour? Is Rosen that influential?