OWA Talks Podcast
OWA Talks Podcast
Feb 20, 2021
Karen Giberson- What's Happening in the Accessories Market in 2021
Play • 26 min

Meet Karen Giberson — President and CEO of the Accessories Council, Editor-in-Chief of AC Magazine, and EMMY Award winner! A genuine "retail insider", Karen has years of experience in communications, merchandising, marketing and public relations.  As President & CEO of the Accessories Council, a non-profit advocacy group, she represents a $50B+ industry of over 350 dynamic member companies in the fashion footwear, accessory, and jewelry markets.  Beyond current members, Karen works with hundreds of brands, retailers, licensees, talent, and industry support executives.

She is charged with being a voice for the industry and leads efforts to assist with legislative issues, sales, and awareness.  Her position gives her a unique perspective and, as a business partner vs client, she gets a realistic view of the opportunities and challenges these companies face.  She is action-oriented and works to maximize and resolve opportunities and challenges.

At the Accessories Council, Karen creates and oversees production of educational events, mentoring programs, the industry newsletter, charitable efforts, and fundraising galas. She advocates for policy, has testified in front of Congress and local governments, and has retained lobby groups to positively impact the accessories industry.  She is a prolific author and has been published in many trade papers.

Most notoriously, she runs the esteemed ACE Awards, one of the fashion industries' leading events. She established many other foundation events at the Council as well, including the Hall of Fame awards, The Elaine Gold Launchpad, the Accessories Innovation Committee, the Design Excellence Awards, B.A.B.E. (a women's networking event), and Retail/Wholesale "meet days", to name a few.

In January 2021, Karen relaunched Accessories Magazine, a quarterly publication that features the accessories, jewelry, and footwear industries.  Karen is a prolific author and major contributor to the publication.

Karen started her career in the executive training program at Macy's and there held a number of positions, including a two-year post in their jewelry-buying department. She then joined QVC where her career blossomed, culminating in a beloved position as director of event marketing.  She was also the director of accessories, footwear and intimate apparel and senior buyer of accessories, footwear, and intimate apparel. She created and launched the company's event marketing division, which created events such as "Shoes on Sale", "Extreme Shopping", and "Red Carpet Weekends".

She is an EMMY award-winning executive producer of "Avec Eric," a PBS broadcasted television show featuring star chef Eric Ripert that was named Outstanding Culinary Program in 2010. She was named one of Philadelphia's Most Fashionable Women 2012, Main Line Today's Power Women List in 2013, 2016 Accessories Council ACE Award Winner, and 2017 Mann Foundation Leading Lady Honoree.

Despite her fashion background, Karen is a grounded and down-to-earth individual! She can be found running Spartan Races, is a fitness enthusiast, and loves spending time with her family and friends.

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