Suzy Biszantz is an experienced CEO and president with a history in the apparel, athletic and fashion industries, as well as a Women in Retail Leadership Circle member. Currently, she’s the president and CEO of Joe’s Jeans, BCBG, and Herve Leger. We asked Suzy some rapid-fire questions so you can get to know her better!

  1. What’s the best book you’ve read recently? Because I’m in my car a lot since moving to Los Angeles, I’ve found myself listening to a lot of podcasts instead of reading books. I recently listened to a really interesting podcast with Adam Grant discussing organizational psychology. When I do find time to read, I’m mostly catching up on Business of Fashion, Women’s Wear Daily, and work emails.
  2. What excites you most about retail? I love seeing how final products are styled by our customers, and the joy they get out of those outfits. I’m also passionate about serving the consumer where they like to shop, either in-store or online.
  3. Who is on the guest list for your ideal dinner party? Natalie Massenet, the founder of Net-a-Porter, would be at the top of my list. She’s a huge inspiration for me and I think she would have amazing advice to share. Tory Burch, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Whitney Wolfe of Bumble are a few other businesswoman I admire. I’m sure they have some great stories.
  4. What’s one thing you wish you knew when you were younger? I wish I would have taken the time to go to business school. I was successful in my career at a young age and always very focused on my job, and I regret not taking the time for business school. I love to learn and think the relationships built in that environment are invaluable.
  5. Where do you do your best thinking? I get some of my best thinking done when I’m on flights traveling for work. I find it’s a good time to focus. It’s the only time I can’t be reached by phone.
  6. What woman inspires you right now and why? I would have to go back to Natalie Massenet. Her innovation and drive motivates me to keep working harder.
  7. When you’re traveling for work, what’s a must-pack item? I barely put down my iPad when I travel. It’s compact and keeps me connected to my work, kids and the news wherever I am.
  8. What’s the hardest thing about your job? Feeling like there’s so much more to be done each day. I’m passionate about getting brands to a stronger position, and having that sense of urgency can make it hard to switch off.
  9. What’s your favorite aspect of your job? Creating great product. It’s always exciting when I’m traveling or with my kids on the weekend, and I see someone walk by wearing Joe’s, BCBG or Herve Leger.
  10. What’s the best advice that’s ever been given to you? Listen well. I’ve been working harder on that recently.
  11. What’s your favorite time of day to be productive? I’m most productive first thing in the morning. I’m already up early getting my kids to school, so after drop-off I start making calls. It’s especially helpful because a portion of my team is in New York City, and they’re already halfway into their work day. Answering emails first thing also helps me put out any potential fires and keeps me from surprises when I get in.
  12. What’s the biggest surprise you’ve had in your career? When I was 31, Paul Fireman, the CEO of Reebok, appointed me president of its Greg Norman division. He believed in me that I was ready to lead before I believed it myself.
  13. What’s your favorite app? My favorite app right now is Instagram. I use it to keep up-to-date with news on other brands and what’s current in the industry. Since it’s football season, I’m also frequently on the Patriots app following up on Julian Edelman.
  14. How do you decompress? Exercising. My favorite classes at the moment are at Lagree, which offers high-intensity workouts in only 25 minutes, which is perfect for the limited free time I have. Also, competitive shopping on the weekends with my 10-year-old daughter, followed by a fun girl’s brunch.
  15. What barriers have you had to overcome in your career? I’m sure many, but I try to stay focused on moving the business forward and not being hung up on the barriers.
  16. What advice would you give to the next generation of female leaders? Believe in yourself, but always be willing to provide results.
  17. If you weren’t working in the retail industry, what do you think you’d be doing? I would be a travel writer or reporter.
  18. How would you describe your leadership style? Strategic, brand building and collaborative. I’m always looking to work with people who are smarter than I am.