ROBERT BURKE President & CEO, Robert Burke Associates -- Leader
KEVIN HARTER Vice President of Fashion Direction, Men's, Young World, Home Furnishings & Bloomingdales.com, Bloomingdale's
Co-President Mitchells Family of Stores
TOM G. OTT Senior Vice President & General Merchandise Manager, Menswear, Home, Foods & Gifts, Saks Fifth Avenue
Senior Vice President & General Merchandise Manager, Men's, Gift Galleries and Cusp, Neiman Marcus Group
With new players and retail environments, the men's wear category has never been hotter. The new Fairchild Fashion Group Men's Wear Industry CEO Summit -- celebrating the 2011 expansion of FFG's now-quarterly Menswear magazine and the 2011 launch of Men's Week -- will bring the community together to focus on how to foster the creative thinking and develop the strategic plans required for continued success for all industry segments.
Robert Burke is the founder and principal of leading New York City luxury consulting business Robert Burke Associates.
Before founding RBA in 2006, Burke spent eleven years at Ralph Lauren, overseeing that company's fashion operations in the U.S. and abroad, and in 1999 moved on to become Senior Vice President of fashion and public relations at Bergdorf Goodman.
Kevin Harter began his career with Bloomingdale’s in the North Michigan store in 1988 before joining the Executive Training Program in 1989. He held various buying positions from 1993 through 1998 and was named Fashion Director for Men's and Young World in 1998.
In 2004, he became Operating Vice President and Fashion Director for the Men's Fashion Office before assuming his current responsibilities in 2006.
Mr. Harter serves on the board of Housing Works, an organization dedicated to eradicating AIDS and homelessness, and has chaired its Fashion For Action charitable event for the last six years He years. also serves on the selection committee of the Council of Fashion Designers of America's (CFDA) Incubator Project as well as the annual GQ Best New Menswear Designer competition.
Bob Mitchell grew up on the selling floor of the Westport-based specialty store founded by his grandfather, Ed Mitchell, in 1958. After graduating from Dartmouth College in 1987, he worked at Sports Illustrated for five years before rejoining the family business in 1991.
Mr. Mitchell is currently the head merchant/head of sales for the family and has led the charge to trade up to better Italian and American clothing. He makes it a point to spend time building relationships with customers on the floor as well as in the showrooms. In addition, one of his biggest contributions was the successful negotiation of Richards in 1995, Marshs in 2005 and Wilkes Bashford in 2009.
Mitchells, Richards and Marshs have enjoyed tremendous sales growth under Mr. Mitchell's leadership, and he was made Co-President in 2000.
Mr. Mitchell is an active member and the past President of the Forum Group, a specialty store exchange group, and a past Chairman of the Fairchester chapter of YPO. He is an avid tennis player, and he and his wife Karen have three children: Lyle 17, Dana, 15, and Elizabeth, 12.
Thomas G. Ott
Thomas G. Ott has been with Saks Fifth Avenue since 1995 and serves as Senior Vice President and General Merchandise Manager of Menswear, Home, Foods and Gifts.
Mr. Ott joined Saks as Buyer of Men's Designer Clothing. Before becoming Vice President, he served as Associate Divisional Merchandise Manager for Men's Clothing and Divisional Merchandise Manager for Men's Tailored Clothing. In 2006, Mr. Ott assumed the executive responsibility for men's accessories and shoes. Prior to assuming his current role in 2008, Mr. Ott was Vice President and Divisional Merchandise Manager of Men's Tailored Clothing, Personal Furnishings, Home and Food.
He began his retail career in 1988 as an Executive Trainee at Lord & Taylor. During the next five years, he held various positions of increasing responsibility, including Department Manager and Buyer of Men's Collection. In 1993, he accepted a position as Merchandise Vice President, Men's Furnishings and Sportswear at Gentry Clothiers before joining Saks.
Mr. Ott holds a bachelor's degree in business administration from the State University of New York, Albany.
Russ Patrick is Senior Vice President and General Merchandise Manager of Men's, Gift Galleries and the Cusp division at Neiman
Marcus Group, which operates 41 Neiman Marcus Stores, six Cusp stores and three Cusp boutiques. Mr. Patrick joined the company's Executive Development Program in 1990 and held positions of increasing responsibility in the stores and merchandising divisions. In 1999, he was named Vice President and Divisional Merchandise Manager of Epicure and Children's.
The next year, he became Vice President and Divisional Merchandise Manager of Home for Neiman Marcus Direct. In 2003, he returned to the Neiman Marcus Stores division as Vice President and Divisional Merchandise Manager of Men's Sportswear.
The following year he was named Vice President and Associate General Merchandise Manager of Men's. His most recent appointment was made in 2010.
Mr. Patrick holds a B.A. from Southern Methodist University.
With new players and retail environments, the men's wear category has never been hotter. The new Fairchild Fashion Group Men's Wear Industry CEO Summit – celebrating the 2011 expansion of FFG's now-quarterly Menswear magazine and the 2011 launch of Men's Week – brought the community together to focus on how to foster the creative thinking and develop the strategic plans required for continued success for all industry segments.