Invest: Miami speaks to Oscar Feldenkreis, CEO

Today’s retail landscape is dramatically evolving and companies need to quickly adapt. Perry Ellis is no exception. For instance, more consumers—including many millennials—shop online, rather than visiting a store. We continue to increase our investments in web-based retailing and direct-to-consumer advertising, one of our fastest-growing businesses.

Recognizing that reduced spending by foreign tourists, given the strengthening of the U.S. dollar, has impacted retailers, we have weighted our retail strategy toward local consumers. We have also accelerated our calendar to bring our products to market earlier, ensuring they are relevant to consumers’ changing tastes.

As a global firm with roots in this community, we are optimistic about Miami’s future. Our evolution from a family-founded company to a publicly-traded corporation has coincided with Miami-Dade’s evolution into a thriving international city. We are committed to investing in this community, as demonstrated by the recent 40,000-square-foot expansion of our corporate headquarters in Doral.

Our Hispanic heritage, and the fact that our headquarters is based in the predominantly Hispanic Miami-Dade market, gives us an advantage in terms of knowing the preferences and tastes of Hispanic consumers. These insights allow us to educate our retail partners on how best to capture market share in this fast-growing demographic.

A challenge facing Miami pertains to talent cultivation. Perry Ellis has endeavored to address this by bringing on a chief talent officer and by partnering with local universities to train their graduates at our facilities. Plus, our executives teach classes and are guest speakers at local design schools.

While we have offices in New York, Portland and Los Angeles, Miami is our home, and we look forward to fortifying our presence here. Miami shows much cultural potential, as demonstrated by the growth of retail centers such as the Miami Design District, and art institutions like the Perez Art Museum Miami. We believe these developments will drive Miami to become a significant national and international fashion city.