Top Women in Retail 2017: Yael Aflalo, Founder and CEO, Reformation
What do you enjoy most about working in the retail industry?
I love that fashion has the power to change a person's mood and persona. Working in retail and the fashion industry was always something that came naturally and effortlessly to me, so it became my vehicle to do something meaningful.
If you weren't working in the retail industry, what do you think you'd be doing?
I’ve always been interested in science and technology, so I would love geeking out and working with a tech-focused company if I wasn't in fashion.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I'm definitely a solution-oriented leader. If I see a problem, I’m not just going to ignore it and hope it goes away; I collaborate on new ideas to tackle a situation. I try to mentor and support, but also turn to my team for input all the time.
What's the best advice you ever received, and who gave you the advice?
Elon Musk said something a few years back that was really impactful. He said, “The path to the CEO’s office should not be through the CFO’s office, and it should not be through the marketing department. It needs to be through engineering and design.”
Do you have any mentors in the retail industry?
I admire brands like Patagonia, which are helping de-stigmatize “eco fashion” and effecting positive change on the fashion industry and the environment. I've admired Patagonia for years and had [products] in my wardrobe ever since I was young. It's the Holy Grail, start-it-all sustainable brand that I think a lot of people have a close connection with. Patagonia has pioneered some of the most innovative materials and production methods, motivating other companies to do the same. That's what I hope to do with Ref.
To see the full list of this year's Top Women in Retail honorees, click here.