Rory Tahari is an entrepreneur, branding and marketing executive, fashion industry alum, and keynote speaker. She is the founder and CEO of STATE OF MIND PARTNERS, a strategic branding and investment firm that guides entrepreneurs and companies in strengthening their resilience to chaos in the marketplace through disruptive and breakthrough brand innovation and strategy.
Rory currently serves on the boards of several companies in a variety of industries. These include her most recent appointment to the Board of Directors and Compensation Committee of STEEL PARTNERS holdings (NYSE:splp), a global diversified holding company with $3.6 billion in revenue. Since 2014, she has been a member of the Board of Directors of the apparel retail brand, Elie Tahari, Ltd. Rory is on the Advisory Board of Omnicom’s culture-tech agency, Sparks & Honey, and serves on the advisory board of skincare brand, SiO Beauty.
Prior to founding State of Mind Partners, Rory built a breadth of expertise guiding and growing companies in the apparel and retail industry for over twenty years. She has gained unique insights by navigating aS CEO of a multi-hundred million dollar company in a fast-moving industry that needed to respond to the market quickly, and deeply understands setting priorities and building a long-term strategic framework. During her tenure at Elie Tahari, she led the company during a time of hyper growth with sales increasing from $50MM to $500MM over a twelve year period.
In her successive roles as CMO and CEO of Elie Tahari Ltd., Rory was early to identify the threat of an emerging fast fashion category and its impending impact on slower to market mid-tier and premium brands. Recognizing it was time to rethink the brand’s strategy and infrastructure, she oversaw the optimization of the supply chain enabling faster-to-market production, as well as the expansion of its wholesaling network to over 800 points of sale in the U.S. and more than 40 countries. Rory also led the company into an omni-channel retail approach, opened 34 directly operated stores over a four-year period, and was ahead in leveraging showrooming to increase retail conversion rates. She initiated a brand differentiation plan that included more agile, timely marketing tactics informed by real-time data and trends. The pivot in overall strategic direction fortified the company to not only survive but thrive over periods of marketplace upheavals and shifts, including the recession of 2008.
Rory is a member of ypo and the women’s forum of ny. She is passionate about elevating women’s opportunities for advancement and leadership in the workplace. Respected as a credible voice in the business of fashion, Rory appears often in various media outlets, including The Wall Street Journal; The New York Times; WWD ; Vogue; Vanity Fair; W Magazine CNN; and Good Morning America, and is sought out as a keynote speaker for high profile events and organizations. Rory holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the School of Communications at Boston University. She is a native of Atlanta, GA.