Caroline Brown has been named managing director of Closed Loop Partners.
She begins April 22, which is Earth Day.
The investment firm, based in New York, is composed of a private equity, venture capital and credit fund as well as an advisory services business focused on building the circular economy. In this role, Brown will lead the industry practice for fashion and beauty across all investment platforms for the firm.
Ron Gonen, chief executive officer of Closed Loop Partners, said, “We see tremendous disruption and opportunity in the fashion industry as it recognizes the opportunity to develop circular business models and become more sustainable. Caroline’s experience and industry leadership will be invaluable as CLP expands its strategy into the fashion and beauty category.”
Brown said, “It’s inspiring to be joining the team at Closed Loop Partners who have pioneered a new way of merging investment and innovation to advance a circular economy. Through demonstrated commitment to early stage technologies, collaborative innovation and creative founders, CLP has built a path for strong investment returns and invaluable social impact.
“I am excited to leverage this foundation through investments within fashion and beauty where sustainable solutions have become leading priorities today,” she added.
A highly regarded fashion executive, Brown has helmed several designer companies throughout her career. Most recently, Brown was ceo of Donna Karan International, a role she held for two years. She resigned that post in 2016, following the sale of the company to G-III Apparel Group from LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton.
During her tenure at DKI, Brown oversaw the departure of founder and chief designer Donna Karan and the hiring of Maxwell Osborne and Dao-Yi Chow of Public School to design DKNY. They replaced Jane Chung, executive vice president of design at DKNY. At the time, DKI didn’t hire a successor for Karan, and the company suspended the Donna Karan Collection’s runways shows and collections.
Earlier in her career, Brown was president of Carolina Herrera for four years and before that was with Akris as ceo for three years. She started her career at Giorgio Armani, where she spent 13 years, rising to senior vice president of marketing and communications for the U.S.
Since October 2017, Brown has served as an adviser to the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship at MIT Sloan School of Management. She is also a member of the Women’s Forum of New York. Brown serves on advisory boards to Atolla, a skin-care start-up that leverages machine learning for personalized skin solutions and Fashionkind, an early stage e-commerce site for ethically sourced and sustainably made luxury products. Earlier she served as a member of the CFDA Vogue Fashion Fund business advisory committee and a mentor to emerging U.S. designers.
Closed Loop Partners is an investment firm that invests in sustainable consumer goods, recycling and the development of the circular economy. In 2018, Closed Loop Partners started the Center for the Circular Economy, a New York City-based collaborative innovation center to commercialize products, services and technologies that are leading the transition from a linear economy to a circular economy.
Current portfolio companies within the fashion sector of Closed Loop Partnership include For Days, Linhaus, Evrnu and The Renewal Workshop.