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Nicole Miller CEO

April 20, 2009 — Bud Konheim, Founder and CEO of retailer Nicole Miller, will speak to Fashion's Past, Present & Future on April 21st at 6 PM in Ruth Auditorium as this year's Design & Merchandising Program's 2009 Distinguished Speaker. Konheim and Nicole Miller began producing their own line in 1982 and in 1986 they opened their first boutique. The Nicole Miller label now includes women's and men's wear, eye wear, sun wear, shoes, accessories, lingerie, outerwear, ties, bridal wear, golf wear and a home line. Early on, Nicole Miller gained popularity with Hollywood celebrities and Miller pioneered the use of celebrities such as Minnie Driver, Gretchen Mol and Jill Hennessey as runway models. Konheim's visit will coincide with the Design & Merchandising senior business plan presentations and reception in Chapman Court.

Bud Konheim, while working in his parents' apparel business, dreamed of launching his own line of original fashion designs that were different from what was on the runways of Paris and New York. Bloomingdale's placed the first major order from Nicole Miller and today there are 30 freestanding Nicole Miller stores and more than 1,000 specialty retailers nationwide that carry Nicole Miller products. The Nicole Miller lines are also sold in upscale retailers Nordstrom's, Bloomingdale's, Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus. The company continues to employ a twenty person group of patternmakers, cutters and sewing operators, who work with Nicole to create spring, fall and resort collections. They also design bridal gowns and exclusive designs for VIP clientele.