The CFDA & Harvard Business School Pair Up

This summer, the CFDA had the opportunity to work with a Harvard Business School graduate to develop a study that evaluated international new market entry for the CFDA and our Membership. James Kuerschner conducted forty interviews with the American fashion industry’s top executives, retailers, and consultants to evaluate sizing and assessment of markets, identify local partnerships, and how best to evaluate risks and returns.

On Thursday, August 22 James  presented his findings to a group of top CEO’s and CFDA Members alongside industry veterans Peter Arnold (President, CYNTHIA ROWLEY), Aslaug Magnusdottir (Founder, Moda Operandi) and Kwesi Blair (Vice President, Robert Burke and Associates). Topics included developing an international brand, exploring new growth markets, expanding e-commerce, and finding the right partners.

James Kuerschner: Harvard Business School, Class of 2013

Hometown: Janesville, WI (but I consider NYC my home!)

Prior to CFDA…. I worked in Sales and Merchandising at Carolina Herrera. I also spent some time interning and freelancing for Nina Ricci, Z Zegna, and Shelly Steffee. While at Harvard Business School, I spent the summer working in Planning and Brand Operations at Bonobos.

What did you do at the CFDA?  Working on behalf of the CFDA, I was afforded the opportunity to interview some of the industry’s highest level executives in order to research international strategy, an area of business that fascinates me.  I was so impressed with the strong spirit of collaboration and clear focus on the business of fashion. It was hard to leave!

The most memorable part of the internship was…my final presentation to 30+ CEO’s and some incredible CFDA Members. Well, that and eating cronuts after morning yoga in the office…

What’s next? I’m heading to Barcelona to start an international management development program at Inditex (parent company of Zara).

Follow my travels on Instagram! @jkuerschner

Photos by Dario Calmese