Why You Shouldn't Buy Nicole Miller

Feb 15 2014, 12:42pm CST | by

It happened again. Following on the heels of Shark Tank’s Kevin O’Leary and venture capitalist Tom Perkins, a new global executive has decided to share their learned insight on the nature of poverty in America and around the world: co-founder and CEO of Nicole Miller, Bud Konheim.

First, let’s get our facts straight about the rising income inequality in the United States. The top 1% captured 95% of the income gains in the first three years of the recovery, from 2009 to 2012. Therefore, top 1% incomes are close to full recovery while bottom 99% incomes have hardly started to recover.

Speaking to CNBC’s “Squawk Box”, Konheim explained his view on poverty in America: “We’ve got a country that the poverty level is wealth in 99 percent of the rest of the world… the guy that’s making, oh my God, he’s making $35,000 a year, why don’t we try that out in India or some countries we can’t even name. China, anyplace, the guy is wealthy.”

Yes, Mr. Konheim, making $35,000 a year in the United States is exactly like making $35,000 a year in India. How can a CEO of a major global fashion brand that grosses more than $650 million in annual sales have such an infantile and ignorant perspective on economics, poverty, wealth, and the very idea that progress is relative to context and circumstance?

21st century business leadership requires CEOs to not only take an economic stand, but a social and environmental stand as well. This is what separates the tunnel vision of Konheim at Nicole Miller from more enlightened leaders who get it, like Muhtar Kent of Coca-Cola, Peter Agnefjäll of IKEA, Richard Branson of Virgin, Paul Polman of Unilever, Michael Kowalski of Tiffany & Co., and former Chairman and CEO at PUMA Jochen Zeitz—all of whom are intimately involved in harnessing the power of their businesses as a force for good. These leaders are ‘greening’ international supply-chains, sourcing raw materials more responsibly and sustainably, focusing on the economic empowerment of women in some of the most challenging environments, and seriously considering the human cost of their business operations. In short, they are beginning to put people and planet on equal footing as profit.

Konheim’s line of thinking is but a growing trend. In case you forgot what happened the last several weeks, Kevin O’Leary recently reacted to the Oxfam International report noting that the wealth of the world’s 85 richest people is equal to the wealth of the poorest 3.5 billion. He was thrilled with the findings saying, “this is a great thing because it inspires everybody, and gets them the motivation to look up to the 1 per cent and say, I want to become one of those people. I’m going to fight hard and get up to the top.”

Similarly, Tom Perkins’ wrote a letter to the Wall Street Journal last month comparing the hostility aimed at the 1% to the treatment of the Jews in Nazi Germany. And on Thursday, he proposed a grand idea for change: if you don’t pay taxes, you shouldn’t be allowed to vote.

It’s unlikely that Konheim will step down after making such comments, so it’s up to consumers, retail stores and partners to send a message of condemnation. It’s time for fashionistas of the world to vote with their wallets. It’s time for stores like Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s to rethink stocking up on Nicole Miller merchandise. And it’s time for celebrities like Beyoncé Knowles, Jennifer Aniston, Halle Berry, Angelina Jolie and others not to fuel this brands success by supporting a founder and CEO who unequivocally trivializes hardship in the United States and around the world. In other words, it’s time to take a stand.

Source: Forbes Business

 
 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

China vows to boost capacity to explore polar regions
Beijing, Nov 20 (IANS) China has vowed to strengthen its capacity to undertake polar region expeditions, following President Xi Jinping's visit to a Chinese icebreaker in Australia.
 
 
Hyundai to build train factory in Brazil
Brasilia, Nov 19 (IANS/EFE) A subsidiary of South Korea's Hyundai announced Wednesday it will invest 100 million reais ($38 million) to build a train factory in the southern Brazilian state of Sao Paulo.
 
 
Cuban doctor infected with Ebola in Sierra Leone
Havana, Nov 19 (IANS) A Cuban doctor fighting the Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone has been infected with the disease, Cuba's health ministry said Wednesday.
 
 
India seeks closer ties with Fiji, South Pacific Islands (Intro Roundup)
Suva, Nov 19 (IANS) India sought to "renew an old relationship" with Fiji and forge closer ties with small South Pacific island nations as Prime Minister Narendra Modi Wednesday announced steps to boost closer ties with the geo-strategically important region.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Former Kazakhstan PM Akhmetov put under house arrest
Astana, Nov 20 (IANS) Former prime minister of Kazakhstan Serik Akhmetov has been charged with corruption and placed under house arrest on the orders of a court. This was revealed Wednesday by the press service of...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
China vows to boost capacity to explore polar regions
Beijing, Nov 20 (IANS) China has vowed to strengthen its capacity to undertake polar region expeditions, following President Xi Jinping's visit to a Chinese icebreaker in Australia. Xi boarded the icebreaker called...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Bono needs 'intensive therapy' following accident
New York, Nov 20 (IANS) U2 frontman Bono needs "intensive therapy" after his bicycle accident here. The singer had a five-hour operation Nov 16 night after a bicycle accident in Central Park here. The incident left...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Appreciate Saudi Arabia's role in combating IS, says Obama
Washington, Nov 20 (IANS) US President Barack Obama Wednesday lauded Saudi Arabia's contribution to the global fight against the Islamic State (IS) terrorist organisation. Obama met the Saudi prince Mitib bin Abdallah...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Russia's modernised Tu-160 fighter jet completes first flight
Moscow, Nov 20 (IANS) Russia's Tu-160 strategic bomber has completed its first flight after modernisation, the aircraft's designers Tupolev said Wednesday. "On Nov 16, 2014, the Tu-160 bomber performed its first...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
The Best Black Friday Toy Deals 2014 Revealed
Holiday Toys are already advertised since weeks in the big toy catalog from retailers like Walmart and ToysRUs. There have been already some decent deals on toys, but during Black Friday 2014 sales you can find many...
Read more on Black Friday Countdown
 
Shields grateful for Cruise's 'genuine' apology
Los Angeles, Nov 20 (IANS) Model-turned-actress Brooke Shields opens up about her reconciliation with Tom Cruise, calling the actor's apology "genuine" after he slammed her for using medication to treat postpartum...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Root cause of terrorism must be addressed: UNSC
United Nations, Nov 20 (IANS) The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Wednesday underlined the need for multilateral action to address the root cause for the spread of terrorism. The UNSC convened Wednesday on the...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Reese Witherspoon defends Renee Zellweger
Reese Witherspoon has branded Renee Zellweger's critics ''cruel and rude.'' The 38-year-old actress - who has reportedly been offered £20 million to replace the 45-year-old actress in the next installment of 'Bridget...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Kylie Jenner banned from club?
Tyga reportedly skipped a nightclub appearance because Kylie Jenner wasn't allowed to attend. The 25-year-old rapper - real name Michael Nguyen-Stevenson - is said to have ''pulled a no-show'' for a scheduled public...
Read more on Celebrity Balla