Fashion and retail industry captains and executives will get a ‘never before’ opportunity to meet and interact with Bonnie Brooks, Vice Chairman of Hudson’s Bay Company, which owns and operates iconic luxury fashion retailer Saks Fifth Avenue among other formats, at the 2015 annual congregation of India Fashion Forum (IFF).
Brooks will be a marquee speaker at the 15th edition of India Fashion Forum scheduled to be held from March 18th to 20th, 2015 at the Bombay Exhibition Centre in Mumbai.
Brooks is widely credited with effectiong a stunning turnaround at Hudon’s Bay Company, the world’s oldest company. to make it one of the most successful fashion retailers on the planet.
Today, 345 years on from its inception in 1670, HBC owns and operates:
Hudson’s Bay: Canada’s most prominent department store with 90 full-line locations, two outlet stores and thebay.com.
Lord & Taylor: 50 full-line locations, 4 Lord & Taylor outlet locations and lordandtaylor.com in the U.S.
Saks Fifth Avenue: 39 U.S. stores, 5 international licensed stores and saks.com.
OFF 5TH: 79 U.S. stores and saksoff5th.com.
Home Outfitters: Canada’s largest kitchen, bed and bath speciality superstore with 68 locations.
“As an international fashion retailer who has lived in worked in Europe, North America and Asia for the past three decades, I can honestly say that the future for India and the balance of Asia, is a remarkable phenomenon that will not ever be repeated in history. The growth of retail in these markets will compare only to the growth in the USA in the second half of the 20th century, again, a phenomenon that will never be repeated in that country,” she says.
“This is of course due to the growth of the middle and upper market population and wealth, and with that growth comes the desire for personal adornment and recognition, and this is the role that the fashion business satisfies like few other industries, as it is more obvious statement of success and achievement, than housing or automobiles due to its visibility. The rise of the great Asian and South-East Asian fashion aware consumer is upon us and that growth will continue for the next several decades. It is a very unique and exciting time for the fashion industry, for designers, for retailers and for consumers. The adventurous investors into these markets will be rewarded in the long term,” she adds.
Brooks has spent her career building and repositioning fashion and luxury retail businesses across the world. Prior to her current role, Brooks was President of Hudson’s Bay Company from January 2012 – January 2014 (heading up Hudson’s Bay and Lord and Taylor USA) and from 2008 to 2012, was CEO and President of Hudson’s Bay (90 Full-line Department Stores.) overseeing the company’s successful turnaround.
Prior to joining HBC in 2008, she spearheaded the turnaround of another iconic retailer, Asia’s Lane Crawford. As President of Lane Crawford Joyce Group, Ms. Brooks brought many of the world’s leading brands into Greater China and Southeast Asia. She was responsible for all divisions of the company, opening hundreds of stores in nine Asian countries.
Before her move to Lane Crawford Joyce Group, Brooks served as Executive Vice President, of Merchandising and Marketing for Holt Renfrew, the leading specialty department store, and brought many of the major American and European designer brands to Canada. Previously, she also served for three years as Editor-in-Chief of Flare, Canada’s largest fashion magazine.
Brooks holds an MBA from the University of Western Ontario. She was named one of the Top 25 Retailers worldwide by Monocle Magazine; and was recognized by Fast Company Magazine USA, as one of the world’s “100 Most Creative People in Business.”
She was the Parsons School of Design Honoree in 2013, and also that year received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal, awarded by Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper. She was inducted into the American Marking Association’s “Marketing Hall of Legends” in January 2014 and in October 2014 was the first woman to receive the Ivey “Business Leader of the Year” award in Canada.
Brooks holds the role of Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Royal Ontario Museum, appointed by the Premier of Ontario. She is a member of the Board of Directors for Empire Company Limited, and is a member of the Board of Trustees for RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust. She is a member of the CAMH Foundation and HBC is a major supporter of the Canadian Olympic Foundation, raising funds through it’s iconic Red Mitten Campaign.