Eileen Fisher who was born on June 6, 1950, is an American clothing designer and founder of women’s clothing brand of the same name as her name, Eileen Fisher, Inc. Fisher’s design is characterized by the simplicity with a Japanese touch and the company is known to use non-traditional models in print advertisements, including their own employees.
Fisher grew up in Des Plaines, Illinois, and she was the second of seven children. When Fisher decided to go to college, her father explained that they could not contribute to her tuition because they needed to save their money to send her younger brother to college because her younger brother needed the education to support his family someday.
Fisher explained in an interview with Inc. in 2013 that did not upset her. She never expected a penny from her parents. She paid tuition at the University of Illinois by working as a waiter.
After college, Fisher moved to New York City in 1973 and worked as an interior designer and graphic artist before establishing her own fashion business inspired by the style of the classic kimono. She has two children, Zackary and Sasha, and now they live in Irvington, New York.
Eileen Fisher and Her Effort to Build a Fashion Business
Eileen Fisher Inc. is an American private company founded by Fisher in 1984 with $ 350 in initial money. Her first order at the New York clothing design event was $ 3,000, which was followed three months later with $ 40,000. The first retail store was open in 1986, on East 9th Street in Manhattan.
In 2002, the company earned more than us$144 in revenue and $ 154 million in the following year. Estimated revenue in 2015 increased to $ 300 million. In 2003, 35 percent of company clothing was produced in the United States while the rest was made in China. Her company has more than 1200 employees with more than 56 retail stores in fifteen countries. In 2011, the company expanded its branch outside the US and opened its first store in Vancouver, British Columbia and in London, England, in October 2012.
Fisher’s company emphasizes sustainability, with 70% using organic cotton and the company reduces fabric and fiber waste by started a recycling program. The customers can also contribute to the sustainability program by donating the “Eileen Fisher” clothes they use in return for a $ 5 prize per article.
Eileen Fisher and Company Without a CEO
Fisher said that in the company there was no term of CEO and she was not comfortable with the title and felt more suitable to be called as a creative officer because she led from a creative understanding. Her company still has a leadership group and has a board and she is the founder and chairman of the board.
Fisher said that there are several principles that she always holds to the point where the value of sustainability is always there in each design and the material used is always of high quality. She also shares a minimum of 10 percent of the profits obtained from people who work in her company. Not because it emphasizes socialism but Eileen Fisher believes that this is very good for the continuation of business in the future.