Local businesswomen highlighted at Greenwich conference
The first day of New Canaan native Emilie Rubinfeld’s first full-time fashion job didn’t go as planned.
The human resources department hadn’t told her boss she was starting that day. When things got sorted out, she was escorted to a work station tucked away and outfitted with a small stool and shelf serving as a desk. Rubinfeld realized she’d have to take matters into her own hands and soon wrote a job description for the position she wanted.
A few jobs and around 20 years later, she used the same strategy to advance to her current position leading luxury fashion brand Carolina Herrera.
“At a time when we were experiencing a leadership transition, it pushed me to realize that I could embrace the risk and unknown and be a leader the company needed,” Rubinfeld told an audience of 250 people this week at Moffly Media’s annual Women in Business conference. “So I took a familiar tactic that worked two decades ago and outlined what I could do for the company to strengthen its foundation and grow the business.”
Last year, Rubinfeld was promoted to president of the brand following high-level positions at several luxury retailers including Akris and Giorgio Armani. Growing up in New Canaan, her first experience in the fashion industry was working at local shop Family Britches. “I always had a strong affinity for fashion and personal style as self expression,” she said. “Fashion can be very powerful.”
Rubinfeld’s keynote address capped a day of educational seminars and awards that Moffly Media hosted at Greenwich Country Club. The Women, Wealth & Wisdom Conference marked Moffly’s 10th year of hosting an event dedicated to area businesswomen, though the format has changed over the years.
This year’s sessions featured industry experts leading discussions about personal branding, aging well, legal advice for entrepreneurs and raising teenagers.
Four local women were recognized with awards for their work in the business community. Recipients included Corporate Leader Alisa Bahl, senior vice president of clinical solutions at OptumHealth, Women’s Business Advocate Tracy Chadwell, who founded 1843 Capital to invest in women-led start-ups, and Entrepreneurs of the Year Flavia Cattan-Naslausky and Camilla Gazal, who are the co-owners of Zaniac Greenwich, which creates programming for children to learn STEAM — science, technology, engineering, arts and math.
The conference ended with a video highlighting fashion brand founder Carolina Herrera’s career along with a fashion show of her designs.
A portion of proceeds made from the conference’s ticket sales will be donated to Greenwich’s Breast Cancer Alliance.
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