Jeffrey Kalinsky is the founder of the eponymous luxury specialty stores, Jeffrey New York, Jeffrey Atlanta , and Jeffrey Palo Alto. The legendary luxury boutiques are known for their meticulously edited selections of designer merchandise, offering the most exciting pieces from the world’s most renowned designers.
Kalinsky’s retail career began early on with his family business of Bob Ellis Shoes, a shoe store in his hometown of Charleston, South Carolina. Years later, Kalinsky would go on to become a retail pioneer, an expert of the highest level of fashion, and one of the leading minds in the industry.
Kalinsky’s love for the business led him to important stints at Bonwit Teller, Bergdorf Goodman, Donna Karan, and Barneys New York. In 1990, Kalinsky opened Bob Ellis Shoes in Phipps Plaza in Atlanta, and later changed the name to Jeffrey when he started selling designer ready-to-wear. In August 1999, he opened Jeffrey New York which opened to instant industry acclaim and became one of the first specialty stores to stock designers such as Helmut Lang, Prada, Dries van Noten, Ann Demeulemeester, Christian Dior, Balenciaga, Gucci, and many others.
Jeffrey Kalinsky is widely credited as the pioneer of New York City’s Meatpacking District and the first fashion retailer to open a store in the now bustling neighborhood. Kalinsky is also credited to be an early collaborator with fashion brands, regularly developing collections with Sperry Top-Sider,Lacoste, Gant, Brooks Brothers, Carolina Herrera, Columbia Sportswear, and more.
In 1992, Kalinsky established Jeffrey Fashion Cares , a leading fashion lifestyle charity event and annual runway show to raise funds for charitable foundations supporting LGBTQ civil rights, HIV prevention and research, breast cancer prevention, and education for LGBTQ youth. Since its inception, the organization has raised over $20 million for its charity partners. The event consists of a cocktail reception with auctions of luxury goods and a fashion show featuring 40+ of the industry’s top models.
In 2005, Nordstrom purchased a majority of the independent retailer, bringing Kalinsky aboard to partner with head merchants and help create a more comprehensive designer offering for its stores and customers. Nordstrom named Kalinsky EVP of Designer at Nordstrom. During this time Kalinsky reported to Pete Nordstrum and worked alongside the merchant teams. He helped create a designer strategy across all classifications for 50 Nordstrom locations and the online store. Leveraging his experience working with designers he collaborated with the product group to create private label merchandise, which became a profitable endeavor.
Unlike most merchants, Kalinsky also worked with the marketing team to develop the advertising strategy and media budget allocation recommendations. He even was involved in selecting the sets for photoshoots, models, and photographers. As content marketing became a more important way to connect with customers, Jeffrey was involved in developing content specifically targeting the designer customer that lived on nordstrom.com and across the brand’s social channels.
Kalinsky’s next role was VP., Designer Fashion Director, Where he continued to work on strategic initiatives and creative collaborations for Nordstrom. Kalinsky has made a huge impact across the Nordstrom designer business, which has grown significantly under his leadership.