Karen Murray is at the point in her career where she can indulge her passions. And she’s done just that by purchasing Fivestory, the luxury women’s fashion store on New York’s Upper East Side.
In a surprise move, the former chief executive officer of Sequential Brands Group revealed that after a chance meeting with Fivestory’s co-owner, Claire Olshan, she decided to leave the corporate world and rework the specialty store into an experiential, curated concept with an updated business model intended to address how women shop today. That will include a continued focus on emerging brands as well as exclusives and a new iteration of couture rental.
In an exclusive interview with WWD at the store at 18 East 69th Street, Olshan said the two women met when they were both honored with fashion leadership awards by the UJA Federation of New York in June. “The whole night we were buddy-buddy and I didn’t even know her last name,” Olshan said of Murray with a laugh.
But they hit it off and decided to meet for coffee shortly after.
Olshan had conceived and opened Fivestory with her father, Fred Distenfeld, in 2012. It is located in a townhouse and offers an assortment of emerging