Nick Beim

Thoughts on the Economics of Innovation

Five Years In And Profitable, Gilt Refocuses On New Leadership, An IPO In 2013 And More

Alexandra Wilkis Wilson walked into famed celebrity designer Zac Posen’s showroom in November 2007 prepared to give the pitch of her life. The Gilt co-founder was attempting to sell Posen and his team on putting some of the designer’s excess inventory on the yet-to-be-launched flash sales e-commerce platform. At the time, the flash sales industry was nascent, so many, including the fashion industry, had no idea what a flash sale was.

Wilson and her CTO at the time, Mike Bryzek, stepped into the meeting armed with a demo, a bunch of mockups, and information (all of which were online). However, they quickly realized that Posen’s office didn’t have Wi-Fi. So Wilson, thinking on her feet, just took a pen and paper and started sketching the idea out. Posen’s team liked what they saw and became the first designer to sell their items in Gilt in late 2007.