As talks of Andrew Rosen's personal investment in a stake of Proenza Schouler continue, this year's second big news item surrounding the Theory founder and CEO (following his tapping Olivier Theyskens as the brand's artistic director), we thought it might be an appropriate time to shed some light on the fashion biz heavyweight. For starters, fashion is part of his DNA.
1. Rosen's grandfather, Arthur Rosen, founded the Puritan Fashions Corporation in 1910, a company later inherited by Rosen's father Carl, who went on to become a major business figure in the fashion and garment trade in the 70's when he obtained the original license for Calvin Klein Jeans.
2. In 1983 Andrew Rosen took over the family business, following his fathers death. A year later, the 27-year old Rosen successfully oversaw Puritan's sale of Calvin Klein Jeans to Calvin Klein and his partner for $100 million. Puritan dissolved and Rosen stayed on as CEO of Calvin Klein for a solid decade before a stint as CEO of Anne Klein.
3.In 1997 Rosen founded Theory with Elie Tahari. "I wanted to mix the luxury of designer sportswear with the urgency of the jeans business," he has said of the brand, which quickly became a popular destination for mix-and-match separates that successful walked that fine line between workwear and casual wear. In 2003 Tahari and Rosen sold the company to the Japanese firm Link International for $102 million, with Rosen staying on as the label's CEO, his current title. Besides Theory's eponymous label, Rosen oversees the U.S. operations of Helmet Lang and Uniqlo, which are also part of Link International's portfolio.
4. Don't has him about Elie Tahari and expect a cozy response: in 2006, Tahari sued Rosen and Link for $182 million, claiming that he was pressured to sell his portion of the label to Link for less that it's actual value. The case is currently pending.
5. Besides his position at Theory under the ownership of Link, Rosen also has several investments of his own in fashion labels, most notably: rag & bone, Alice + Olivia, Gryphon, and Kiki de Montparnasse.
6. Proving his chops as a savvy fashion insider and (and not just a smart businessman), Rosen tapped Olivier Theyskens to collaborate on a capsule collection with Theory earlier this year. Dubbed Theyskens' Theory, the collection was well-received success following its September debut, prompting Rosen to subsequently name Theyskens as the brand's artistic director.
7. If you ask Rosen about Theyskens' Theory, he may start telling you about training times and The Breeders' Cup. In addition to being a fashion mogul, he's also a major horse racing fan, owning a stable's worth Thoroughbred horses, including one with the moniker "Fashion Rocks," and another named, yes, "Theyskens' Theory."