Growing up in Goshen, Indiana, Ian Rogers was far more excited about skateboarding, punk rock, and hip-hop than haute couture, and his fashion sense ran toward baggy Carhartt and Dickies items purchased from Walmart. “We were literally dressed like janitors,” he recalls.
These days Rogers operates in a decidedly higher-end milieu. In 2015, luxury-goods conglomerate LVMH—which owns Givenchy, Bulgari, and Marc Jacobs, among many others—hired him to be the company’s first chief digital officer. A former roadie for the Beastie Boys, Rogers had spent more than two decades in the music industry, including stints as CEO of Beats Music and senior director of Apple Music, where he oversaw iTunes Radio. At LVMH, Rogers is tapping skills he learned while navigating the music business’s turbulent digital shift. “Retail is about to fundamentally change in much the same way that music changed,” he says.
In June, Rogers unveiled one of his first major LVMH projects. Called 24 Sèvres, it’s a sleek online retail extension of famed Paris department store Le Bon Marché, which LVMH owns. The site is the only multi-brand online store offering products from LVMH houses like Christian Dior and Louis Vuitton.
Now Rogers is turning to other initiatives, such as building out LVMH’s digital presence in China and using customer data to explore how to better sell prestige goods online—a high-potential space that’s been slow to develop. As Rogers puts it, “The future of luxury e-commerce hasn’t been invented yet.”
Best Recent Tech Development
“Augmented reality today feels like the internet in 1994: We know it’s going to change our lives, but we can’t see exactly how yet. I’m also pretty excited about my Play-Doh Amazon Dash button.”
Best Advice He’s Received
“[Legendary music producer] Rick Rubin told me once that if you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t be available for others. No trick, no little app is going to help you if your head’s not clear.”
The Power Of Unplugging
“I’ve gone back to analog. I buy real books, I write in real notebooks. I write the things I need to get done on Post-it Notes. I had an iPad Pro and I gave it away.”
How He Stays Productive
I try not to take my cell phone into meetings. If I’m distracted by my phone, it sends the wrong message to everyone.”