• ON LUXURY: The fourth annual Columbia University Business School Retail & Luxury Club Conference will be held Feb. 5. Speakers will include Daniel Lalonde, chief executive officer of Louis Vuitton North America; Fabio Leoncini, managing director of Loro Piana; Shirley Cook, ceo of Proenza Schouler, and Christine Beauchamp, president of Ann Taylor Stores. Billed as “Back to Black,” this year’s event will explore the challenging economic environment of the past 18 months and the strategies retailers have pursued to ensure the bottom line is positive, or “in the black.” The objective is to determine whether companies are choosing to focus on fundamentals, investing in new technologies or changing their business model altogether.

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