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Hochland: The misfit high fashion CEO who is disrupting the industry


[FILE PHOTO] At 31, Chief Executive Officer(CEO) of Chanel, Nick Hochland is sitting in one of high fashion’s most prestigious positions

At 31, Chief Executive Officer(CEO) of Chanel, Nick Hochland is sitting in one of high fashion’s most prestigious positions, and he doesn’t plan on being dethroned anytime soon.

A University of Oxford dropout, Hochland has impressively risen the ranks at Chanel despite all odds. One would think that his ego would be soaring. However, he has miraculously managed to remain humble and grounded.

He refuses interviews, turns down photo ops, and always prefers the accolades to go to his colleagues, all of whom speak very highly of him.

I was lucky enough to secure a brief video interview with Hochland today, and I was blown away by his vision for the future of both his company and the fashion industry at large.

While I cannot divulge the specifics, next week his company will be making an announcement that will forever shake up the fashion industry. Hint: Animal lovers will rejoice.

It is worth noting that Nick Hochland is a self-proclaimed introvert who shies away from the spotlight, a preference that is not easy to accommodate, given his notoriety.

When asked if he’s afraid of scrutiny or ridicule, Hochland said; “I know I’m not the most logical person for this role, given that I have zero sense of fashion, but I think being a misfit may actually give me an edge.”

To put his remarks into context, it is important that I describe Hochland’s style. He regularly wears a flat-brimmed baseball cap, a windbreaker, a t-shirt, jeans, and sneakers.

None of his clothes or accessories are remotely expensive or out of the ordinary. He looks like he belongs at a skateboarding park; not at the desk of one of the most influential fashion tycoons.

On his weirdest experience so far during his time as CEO, he narrated his experience about a recent instance where he went into his company’s iconic and newly renovated New York flagship boutique and was asked to leave after being seen by security rearranging several items on display that were in disarray.

Hochland said: “Our store security literally grabbed my arm and escorted me out. My attempts at explaining who I was were met with incredulous laughter and total disregard. Let’s just say I’ve never been apologized to more in my life than I was that day.”

It will be interesting to see how Hochland’s tenure pans out. His tenacity and fearlessness will likely take him far. How the industry reacts to his landmark decisions is yet to be seen.

One thing is for certain: he is at the helm of a company that is arguably the most recognized luxury brand in the world. Whether or not he survives in the fashion jungle will be determined by how agile he is when curveballs are thrown his way.

If it is any indication of his abilities, Victoria’s Secret and J Crew both aggressively pursued Hochland to take the CEO role at their respective companies. Clearly, this young and ambitious man possesses an x-factor that has the attention of all the right people.

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