Starting out of the gate with $4 million in first-year sales, the business partners were off and running. The fourth generation in his family to immerse himself in New York’s fashion industry, Konheim kept a gimlet eye on the arcs and pitfalls of Seventh Avenue. The Dartmouth graduate and former Marine may not have had the stereotypical background to excel in the cutthroat world of fashion, but his flat-out candidness disarmed pretty much everyone he met. Wondering what his thoughts were was rarely an issue — he would not only tell you but would also spell out how that played out in the worldwide landscape.
The fast-talking, amiable executive started a 2007 presentation at WWD’s Sourcing Leadership Forum by greeting his “fellow sourcerers.” But truth be told, at times Konheim had Nostradamus tendencies in predicting what lay ahead for the fashion business.
Konheim pegged such milestones as:
• The demise of shopping malls in 1990.
• The waning power of department stores in 1988.
• The power of online shopping in 1998.
• The onslaught of time-starved shoppers in 1998.
• The inequitable burden of chargebacks in 1998.
• Consumers’ interest in conversational prints in the late Eighties.
• The need for a Made in New York City initiative in 1994.
• The rise of designer concept shops in 1988.
• Balking at selling to discount stores or outlet stores in 1997.