Wearing it Well: Eileen Fisher on Mindfulness, Leadership, and Doing Good

Designer Eileen Fisher wears the mantle of leadership with the ease and owing style of her clothing. Her company is not only doing well, Barry Boyce writes, it’s doing good—for employees, young women, and the planet.

In 1992 Eileen Fisher moved her company from trendy Tribeca in Man- hattan to suburban Irvington in West- chester County. She wanted her son, Zack, to have a backyard to play in.

“I could come home and start cooking while he was outside playing,” shetells me. Well, she didn’t exactly cook, she admits, but she was at home. Only recently has she had time to get into cooking. She’s been a little too busy creating the burgeoning clothing empire that bears her name—with more than 60 retail stores, distribution through department stores and boutiques in 90 countries, a thousand employees, and over $350 million in annual revenues. But she’s overseen it all in the same spirit as getting that backyard for Zack. It’s domestic. It’s a family. It’s caring. Nobody lasts at Eileen Fisher, she says, if they aren’t kind.

The fashion industry has a hard reputation, conjuring images of NYC’s Triangle Shirtwaist Factory re in 1911, undernourished, underaged models, and heavily marked-up products man- ufactured in Third World sweatshops.

“We’re fortunate to have a sophisticated customer who under- stands the value of our clothes,” says Fisher. “There’s a price for lasting quality and sustainability. It should be industry…

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About the author

Barry Boyce

Barry Boyce is Founding Editor of Mindful and Mindful.org. A longtime meditation practitioner and teacher—as well as a professional writer and editor— he is the editor of and a primary contributor to The Mindfulness Revolution: Leading Psychologists, Scientists, Artists, and Meditation Teachers on the Power of Mindfulness in Daily Life. Barry also worked closely with Congressman Tim Ryan, as developmental editor, on A Mindful Nation and The Real Food Revolution. Barry serves on the board of directors of the Foundation for a Mindful Society and the Centre for Mindfulness Studies in Toronto as well as on the advisory board of Peace in Schools, in Portland, Oregon.