Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden may have been recently voted the NBA’s worst-dressed player, but it looks like luxury retailer Saks Fifth Avenue disagrees and appointed “The Beard” to the board of its e-commerce platform. “As we work to build this new board, James is an important and valuable addition,” said Saks Executive Chairman Richard Baker. “With experience in growing businesses and as someone who values self-expression through fashion, I am confident that he will bring a distinct point of view that will help us better deliver for our customers.”
Harden will also be a minority investor in Saks, providing the company with a healthy financial “shot in the arm” as well, although the terms of that deal were not disclosed. “I am honored to join the Saks board and to be a part of a company that is paving the future of luxury retail,” he said in an official statement. “This is an exciting opportunity for me to combine two of my personal passions—fashion and teaming up with brands that have the potential to lead—while making an impact on the communities they serve.”
Harden similarly holds minority stakes in a number of organizations, especially in Houston, TX, where he played nine seasons for the Rockets. Some of those include MLS’s Houston Dynamo and NWSL’s Houston Dash, a pair of US pro soccer teams in which he has a five-percent share valued north of $475 million, according to Front Office Sports. Harden is the founder of the upscale eatery Thirteen, too.
Harden’s superstar profile should help Saks connect with its younger clientele and develop its market penetration. “[Harden’s] expertise, combined with that of our other board members, will enable Saks to further capitalize on the significant growth opportunity within luxury e-commerce,” said Baker.
Along with Harden, three managing directors were also named to the board on Monday: Deven Parekh and Adam Berger of Insight Partners, and Rhône Capital’s Franz-Ferdinand Buerstedde. The four men will join Baker, Saks CEO Marc Metrick, and former WeWork CEO Sebastian Gunningham in overseeing the brand’s strategic direction. “With our rapid growth strategy coupled with the unique perspectives of our board members,” Metrick said, “I look forward to working together to help drive Saks into the future.”