A SENSE OF CALM: For Urban Zen, the start of the new year signals a new chief executive officer — Helen Aboah.
Aboah assumes a role that has been vacant for two years and was last held by Don Hutchison. Together with the company’s founder, Donna Karan, she plans to build and expand upon Urban Zen’s founding pillars: preservation of culture (past), health care (present) and education (future). Aboah’s hiring and track record represent a commitment to the company’s global growth plans. One of Aboah’s first initiatives will be overseeing the groundbreaking Urban Zen Integrative Therapy program that integrates Eastern healing modalities with Western science. Today, the UZIT network consists of 900-plus certified therapists throughout the country.
Aboah said, “Donna is not only an icon but a visionary that has always been ahead of her time with many concepts that have changed the way consumers dress, shop and live from her original seven easy pieces, to buy-now wear, wellness and yoga, now conscious consumerism. Through Urban Zen we have the opportunity to connect the dots between Donna’s timeless design aesthetic, artisan craftsmanship and philanthropic efforts.”
In her new role, Aboah is based in New York. Aboah has decades of experience in the fashion industry. She joins Urban Zen from Alexander Wang where she served as executive vice president. Prior to that, Aboah served at LVMH/Donna Karan International as an executive. A graduate of Columbia University, Aboah is adept at merchandising, brand positioning and product-driven strategies.
Last month, Karan’s longstanding campaign for a “conscious community” took form in the annual Urban Zen Holiday Marketplace. Karan said she was excited to have Aboah join Urban Zen. The designer said in a statement, “Her expertise in building fashion brands and leading teams while also being a wife, mother, friend and visionary is what makes her an incomparable leader.”