In an effort to bolster its women’s and newly launched men’s wear businesses, Moda Operandi, the online luxury retailer, has made two key fashion hires.
Lisa Aiken has been named fashion director, women’s, and Josh Peskowitz has been tapped as fashion director, men’s. Both executives report to Ganesh Srivats, chief executive officer of Moda Operandi, and will relocate to the company’s New York headquarters.
Most recently, Aiken was with YOOX Net-a-Porter Group in London as retail fashion director, having worked there seven years. Earlier, she held editorial, marketing and buying posts at Mytheresa.com and Matchesfashion.com.
Aiken will be responsible for further refining the voice, designer mix and product assortment at Moda Operandi’s women’s business.
Peskowitz most recently cofounded Magasin, a men’s clothing boutique in Culver City, Calif., which he will continue to own. Previously, he was men’s fashion director at Bloomingdale’s, and was the men’s style director at Gilt Groupe. Earlier he held various editorial posts at publications such as Esquire and The Fader.
At Moda Operandi, Peskowitz will be responsible for shaping the creative direction and editorial voice of the recently launched men’s fashion business.
These appointments follow the August hiring of Srivats, who replaced Deborah Nicodemus as ceo. Srivats had been a vice president of Tesla, where he oversaw development in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
“Individually, Lisa and Josh have unparalleled experience, and are without a doubt the global leaders in their fields,” said Srivats. “Together, and alongside our growing best-in-class team, they’re a force who’ll help further Moda toward its mission of giving customers direct access to the best fashion creativity in the world. Lisa’s international experience, fresh, forward-looking point of view, and uncanny ability to scout and nurture emerging talent perfectly aligns with Moda’s mission,” added Srivats.
“Josh’s cultural savvy, deep appreciation of how the men’s fashion consumer is evolving, along with an understanding of craftsmanship, perfectly position him to define and scale Moda’s men’s wear business,” Srivats added.
In an interview Tuesday with both Aiken and Peskowitz, they were asked what prompted them to join Moda and what they hope to bring to the web site.
“There is opportunity within the retail space right now to challenge and push the boundaries of what the luxury fashion experience is for the customer. I really believe that Moda is at the forefront of shaping what that’s going to look like in the future,” said Aiken. She attributed the momentum to the company’s new ceo. “We’re a business that’s really putting tech development to the forefront,” she said. She added that the fact that Srivats comes from another industry and puts that background into another platform — “that cross-pollination of industries” — is what really excited her.
Moda’s average transaction in the women’s space is $1,400.
Peskowitz said what attracted him to Moda was that he’s had a lot of experience in different parts of the retail and editorial industry “and rarely have I met someone like Ganesh who was so willing to throw everything against the wall and see what sticks.
“It’s really an exciting time to be part of an organization like this that’s going through a tremendous change, and men’s is just really starting,” said Peskowitz. Following a soft launch last June, Peskowitz said, “We are really looking to start showing who we are, come [next] fall.”
“Part of the reason they wanted me and one of the reasons I wanted to be here, is a commitment to really showcasing new and emerging brands and really starting to integrate those brands into the existing landscape of the bigger manufacturers and fashion houses that Moda already works with,” said Peskowitz. “It’s super important to expose the customer to new and innovative ideas on a platform that’s as large and impactful as the one that we have. Throughout my career, I’ve always been a champion of the smaller brand, and people who are trying to do new things, or do old things in a new way,” he said.
Asked how important streetwear is to the Moda platform, Peskowitz said, “I think streetwear, as many other big parts of the men’s fashion landscape the last couple of decades, will always be a part of how men dress, and we want to meet a fashion-engaged customer where he’s at.” He also wants to incorporate other aspects, whether it’s tailored clothing, or more high-fashion elegance into something that also speaks to a streetwear aesthetic. “I think that’s where the world is going. No one look dominates, he said. “All the men that I know and have interacted with over the years, don’t really ascribe to one particular style. There’s so many ways to be influenced in this day and age through social media, traditional media, and walking down the street. We want to bring access, and information is coming out of everybody’s ears. The really important thing is to stand for something and show perspective and give a point of view. That’s how you build loyalty and start a conversation,” he said.
Founded in 2010 by Lauren Santo Domingo and Aslaug Magnusdottir, Moda Operandi allows customers to preorder looks directly from designers immediately after their runway show and sells merchandise through a curated in-season boutique. Moda Operandi is backed by Apax Digital, Adrian Cheng, C Ventures and K11 Investment, along with New Enterprise Associates, LVMH, and Fidelity, among others.