Andrea (Bills) Abrams is a 26-year retail veteran with extensive experience in international retail expansion and global real estate acquisitions, development, merchandising and repositioning. Andrea is the founder of Andrea Abrams LLC, d.b.a. Abrams Global, and the co-founder of Interconnected LLC. She is a tech investor and is currently on the Strategic Advisory Board of retail technology company Guesst Software.
After a long career in the shopping center industry, Andrea founded Abrams Global in 2013 in New York to help retailers, fashion groups and retail real estate owners with their growth strategies. Since launching Abrams Global, Andrea has worked on the international expansion, including partner sourcing, site selection and development strategies, of prominent retailers and fashion brands such as Saint Laurent, The White Company, Regatta, A’GACI, Etam Groupe and Lladro, among others, and she has worked on the international merchandising of prominent retail and mixed-use projects in Nice, London and Montreal. Andrea’s expertise helped expand many UK and European companies to the US, Canada and Latin America. As part of her international retail work, Andrea also ran US operations for London-based retail agencies Lunson Mitchenall and Time Retail Partners between 2013 and 2016.
Andrea has also provided portfolio-wide merchandising advice to large shopping center owners in the US, UK and Canada. As part of her project merchandising work, Andrea joined Triple Five Worldwide Group of Companies in 2017 as an international retail advisor for their new American Dream project in New Jersey. (Triple Five has developed, owns and operates the 1st, 2nd and 3rd largest tourism retail and entertainment complexes in the Americas.)
Prior to her work in retail and fashion, Andrea spent a large part of her career in senior positions in development, asset management and acquisitions with US retail REIT General Growth Properties (NYSE: GGP), the second largest shopping center owner at the time, where she was involved as Vice President of Development and Asset Management in the expansion and operations of a vast portfolio of regional centers, and later launching GGP Ventures/GGP International, to explore investments in service companies and to expand the portfolio abroad with transactions in Turkey, Brazil and Central America. During her tenure at GGP, Andrea also took over development and asset management responsibilities for a $5 billion land and mixed-use portfolio upon GGP's acquisition of Rouse Companies in 2004. As part of her work in mixed-use, Andrea worked on the re-zoning and redevelopment of the 62-acre Ward Village in Honolulu, Hawaii, and served on the Executive Board of The Woodlands Company (TWDC) in Houston, TX, a Joint Venture of GGP and Morgan Stanley at the time.
Andrea is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, where she majored in engineering and architecture. She was the recipient of the Alpha Rho Chi medal and participated in special programs with Cornell University and the Prince of Wales Program. Andrea has been a member of ICSC, BCSC and ULI. She is a frequent speaker on the subject of international retail expansion. She has lived and worked in several countries in Latin America and Europe and is fluent in Spanish and Italian. She currently lives in New York with her husband.
Rigo Lora has over 20 years of business experience. He is a 14-year fashion and lifestyle industry veteran with extensive experience in brand expansion and global partnerships. He is the founder of Rigo A Lora LLC and the co-founder of Interconnected LLC.
Rigo began his career at Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, gaining experience in numerous departments such as IT, Marketing, Sales, Legal and Quality Assurance. Having a lifelong desire to work in the fashion industry and after 10 years in the Pharmaceutical business, he received a once in a lifetime opportunity to launch the fashion brand Dsquared2 in the US. At the time, Dsquared2 was a start-up with minimal US presence, minimal global distribution and no global retail presence.
Rigo joined Dsquared2 Inc. (the US Division) in 2006, as the brand’s first US employee and was responsible for managing and developing the US wholesale business, which grew from a few accounts to 50+ wholesale accounts during his tenure. Rigo established a successful distribution network with prestigious retail clients, and opened points of sales at Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Jeffrey New York, The Webster, Fred Segal, and Holt Renfrew, among others.
After 10 years at Dsquared2 establishing the brand in the US market, Rigo founded Rigo A Lora LLC in 2016 in New York to explore new partnerships and opportunities. Since launching, Rigo has focused on consulting for prominent charities, hospitality and fashion luxury brands and prominent companies such as Zappos Luxury, American Dream (Triple Five Group), Guesst Software, Scytale Ventures, Lukso Fashion Blockchain, NOA (No Ordinary Agency), The Standard Hotels, The Edition Hotels, Gitano Tulum, Sound Tulum Music Festival, Jeffrey Fashion Cares, Vienna’s Life Ball, BMF Media, Balmain, and Faith Connexion. Rigo's services to clients included strategic introductions, brand strategy implementation, sponsorships, marketing, curation, activations, retail opportunities and recruiting.
Rigo is a graduate of Bernard M. Baruch College, where he majored in Business Administration and minored in Human Resource Management. Rigo has lived and worked in Italy, Mexico and Austria and is fluent in Spanish. He currently lives in New York City and has traveled extensively globally.