Rose Marie Bravo
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Rose Marie Bravo (born January 13, 1951 in the Bronx, New York) is an American businesswoman. During her career, she has occupied leadership positions in several major fashion businesses and is now vice chairman at Burberry, of which she was CEO from 1997 to 2005.
Bravo, whose Italian-born father owned a hairdressing business in the New York Bronx, attended the elite public Bronx High School of Science and went on to study English literature at Fordham University. She graduated cum laude and joined Abraham and Strauss' department store at Long Island as a buyer in 1971. In 1974, she was recruited by Macy's. When her company bought I. Magnin she continued to work there until the bankrupt of Macy's in 1992. After five more years as President and Chief Merchant of Saks Fifth Avenue, Burberry chose to appoint her as a chief executive.
In her new job she initiated a radical reform of the British classic brand and improvements of the company structure. Her strategy included signing top model Kate Moss and recruiting the young designer Christopher Bailey (fashion designer) in 2001, who was working for Gucci at that time. The Burberry line of products was greatly increased and especially the newly added perfumes contributed to the company's raising profits.
With Bravo as a CEO, Burberry managed to expand greatly on the US market. The company's sales doubled from 470 million to 1 billion USD. The same happened to the profits, e. g. in the six months before September 30, 2003 they increased to a total of 115 million USD.
In recognition of her work, she earned a reputation of being one of the top female business people. For instance, New York's Wall Street Journal listed her in its 2004 top 50 hall of fame, Fortune Magazine ranked her #13 in its 2004 and 2005 lists of "The 50 most Powerful Women in Business" outside the US.
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- Mammon Interview: Bravo encore at Burberry, Observer - The Guardian, June, 2 2002.