The RealReal forms majority female board, names president
San Francisco-based digital-first fashion consignment marketplace The RealReal has named former Neiman Marcus Group CEO, Karen Katz, and Good American CEO and co-founder and Skims founding partner, Emma Grede, to its board of directors.
With these appointments, The RealReal now has a 60 percent women board, while it has doubled its representation since going public in 2019.
The company also promoted former chief operating officer Rati Levesque to the role of president. Levesque has led the company’s merchandising team since inception, and expanded her focus to include operations.
“Among the 3,000 largest U.S. publicly traded companies, one in 10 boards still have no women,” said Julie Wainwright, CEO of The RealReal, in a statement.
“Diversity in the boardroom brings a broader cross-section of experiences and perspectives, which is essential for innovation and evolution. We have been intentional in our efforts to expand diversity within our board, and we believe this further strengthens our ability to capitalize on the significant opportunity ahead of us.”
Katz has more than 30 years of deep luxury and retail experience. She headed Neiman Marcus Group and served as its director, where she leveraged the company’s brick-and-mortar presence including over 40 Neiman Marcus stores, Bergdorf Goodman in New York and the Last Call Off-Price division to launch its omnichannel strategy, integrating customers’ online and in-store experiences through technology and personalization.
She also led the 2014 acquisition of luxury e-commerce retailer, Mytheresa, scaling its e-commerce offerings to support Neiman Marcus’ omnichannel strategy. Katz currently serves on the board of directors at Under Armour, Casper and Humana, and chairs StreetTrend.
Likewise, Grede joins the board with retail and brand marketing experience. She founded Good American, the first fully size-inclusive fashion brand, which reached $1 million in sales on its first day of release, as well as ITB Worldwide, a talent management and marketing firm beloved by luxury brands including Vivienne Westwood and Christian Dior.
As a Black female leader and innovator in inclusive fashion, Grede is a champion for diverse and inclusive representation at all levels of internal and external business operations, having built companies upon those values. She is also a strong advocate for women’s rights, and is an active trustee and board member of Women for Women International and Baby2Baby.
“Karen and Emma bring an incredible depth of retail and fashion industry experience to the table, and their insights into shifting consumer behaviors and the evolving retail landscape are valuable additions to our board,” said Wainwright.
Katz and Grede join Chairperson Julie Wainwright and the rest of The RealReal’s existing board members, which includes seven existing members.
The RealReal currently has more than 20 million members. It operates 13 retail locations, including eight shoppable stores.
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