GLOBAL SOURCING: From rising cost challenges to international trade, the first day of the WWD Global Sourcing and Global Markets Forum will focus on issues affecting all involved in the business of global sourcing and supply chain.
Rick Helfenbein is President of all U.S. operations for Luen Thai Holdings Limited. In this capacity, he is responsible for the management of the Luen Thai companies in New York, New Jersey, Ohio, and California.
Luen Thai is the largest publicly listed apparel supply chain services company on the Hong Kong Exchange. Customers include Polo Ralph Lauren, Abercrombie & Fitch, Dillards, Banana Republic, Macy's, Ann Taylor, and Uniqlo in Japan.
Mr. Helfenbein has been credited with creating the original Le Tigre brand and with utilizing basketball star Wilt Chamberlain to market "big & tall" products to the American consumer. He introduced Burlington Industries into the apparel manufacturing segment, and has developed apparel for many of the most popular brand names in the United States.
He has served on the management boards of Campus Sportswear (Le Tigre), Crystal Brands (Lacoste), and the Blythedale Children's Hospital in New York. He currently holds the office of Secretary on the executive committee and board of the American Apparel & Footwear Association.
Mr. Helfenbein has been an active part of the Luen Thai team that was created to establish China's first supply chain city for the U.S. apparel industries, one of the largest, most efficient, state of the art apparel manufacturing facilities in Asia. He holds a Bachelor of science degree in economics from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton Business School.
Rick Helfenbein, President of Luen Thai USA, reiterates that the key to succeeding in business is knowing your customer, and catering to their needs. "Who's your customer?" asks Helfenbein. "Who's your daddy?"