Today on Business Rockstars, Ken Rutkowski talks with Adam Bernhard, the founder and Chief Executive Officer of HauteLook, a leading online private sale site offering the top brands in women’s and men’s fashion and accessories, beauty, kids’ apparel and toys, and home décor. In 2011, Nordstrom aquired Hautelook for $270 million.
Adam Bernhard launched HauteLook in 2007 as a platform to connect premium lifestyle and fashion brands with savvy shoppers. HauteLook offers brands an online retail destination to clear excess inventory in an environment that reflects their vision and brand aesthetic. By providing engaging content and brand storytelling, the site also serves as a marketing tool for brands to recruit new customers. Nordstrom acquired HauteLook in March 2011.
Prior to launching HauteLook, Bernhard founded Liquid8, an inventory clearance company for contemporary apparel brands, as a way to gain insight and expertise into the category. Through Liquid8, Bernhard identified an opportunity to help brands clear excess inventory in a way that protects their brand identity and maintains high margins, and thus HauteLook was born.
Before launching Liquid8, Bernhard was Executive Vice President of International Business at Joie, a contemporary clothing label. In this position, Bernhard was responsible for securing Joie’s distribution in leading international retail stores including Harvey Nichols and Browns in the UK, Le Bon Marché in France, Isetan in Japan, and Holt Renfrew in Canada. Throughout his tenure at Joie, Bernhard increased women’s apparel sales by 300 percent and doubled sales in the men’s division.
Bernhard has been a serial entrepreneur since the beginning of his career, including stints in movie production and a controlling stake in famed pizza chain Mulberry Street Pizzeria.