Rick Helfenbein is president and CEO of the American Apparel & Footwear Association, the national trade association representing more than 1,000 brands in the apparel, footwear, and accessories industry. Rick became president and CEO on February 15, 2016 and leads the association and its operations.
Previously, Rick was president of all USA operations for Luen Thai Holding Limited. Luen Thai is the largest publicly listed apparel manufacturing and supply chain services company on the Hong Kong Exchange. The company manufactures clothing, shoes, and accessories for some of the most recognized brands in the industry, including Polo Ralph Lauren, Coach, Adidas, and Michael Kors. Prior to his appointment, Rick was Chairman of the AAFA Board of Directors from March 2014 to February 2016, and had served on the board of directors since 2008.
Rick has more than 40 years of experience in the apparel, footwear, and accessories industry, and has been credited as being one of the creators of the original Le Tigre brand plus helping to engineer the split between Izod and Lacoste. He also introduced Burlington Industries to the apparel market and has extensive experience with manufacturing in the USA, Asia, and Latin America both from an apparel and textile perspective. Rick holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the Wharton Business School. He participates in the Consortium for Operational Excellence in Retailing at Wharton and Harvard.