Thursday, January 1, 2009

About Lou

Lou Sagar is a recognized trend innovator in home, art, and consumer lifestyle retailing. As the founder of ZONA, the distinctive specialty home and lifestyle retailer, Lou built a showcase emporium for his pioneering development of lifestyle merchandising. In 1980, he opened his flagship store in the Soho area of New York, anticipating the emergence of Soho as an international destination for art and design. During a span of 17 years, he built a world-class lifestyle brand with nine retail locations and substantial wholesale operations distributing private label home furnishings, and lifestyle products throughout the United States, Europe, and Japan. An accomplished author and speaker, Lou Sagar is widely regarded for his trend-setting home and lifestyle book Zona Home published in 1998 by Harper Collins. In 1998, he sold his company to a private investment group.

Between 1998, and 2000, Lou worked on assignments with AOL, I-Village, and Oxygen Media, advising specialty retailers on the strategic benefits of online banner advertising, as a compliment to traditional media, including, brand positioning, early-stage click-stream analytics, and search. These early adopters included Godiva, J. Crew, Sharper Image, and Lands End.

In 2001, Lou launched a boutique consultative practice supervising the integration of the web as an online distribution channel for specialty retailing marketers and assisting executive leaders, such as Eileen Fisher, with new business development and strategic partnership formation.

Between 2006 and 2008, Lou joined ABC Home, and worked closely with founder Paulette Cole, to redirect the brand, product assortment and merchandising towards eco-friendly and sustainable materials in furnishings, and accessories.

Since 2008, Lou has concentrated on advising a diverse range of clients as a business consultant and social strategist. The role of the social strategist is to advise and supervise brand presence on the Internet, including website, blogs, and all engagement on social networks. He has an exceptional understanding of this emerging field, having worked with clients from small entrepreneurial start-ups to larger organizations. Recent engagements have included,, eBay, the Uniform Project and Dean and Deluca.

In 2010, Lou connected his interest in social strategic work with art and culture. He was a co-producer of the acclaimed “conversation” between Ai Weiwei, China’s leading contemporary artist/activist and Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter on the topic of digital activism in China held at the Paley Center for Media in New York City. Lou continues to work closely with the artist in web and marketing development. Lou has advised “The Art of Basketball”, a collaboration between PWD, the NBA, and leading street and graffiti artists for the launch of the brand during Art Basel Miami. He advised the Cracking Art Group of Rome, creators of the famous Pink Snails Project.

He is a senior director to The GreenShows, a firm dedicated to the future of retailing sustainably produced fashion, jewelry, and accessories, and serves as a senior team member for The Lakeside Collaborative, a boutique retail consultancy to major Museums.


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