Helen Aboah is no stranger to change. Born in Eritrea, Africa and raised in Sonoma County, CA, she moved to NYC to study at Columbia University in NYC. She first achieved success in television and film where she learned the importance of storytelling, before pivoting to the retail industry where she mastered the art of combining product & design narratives with technology to create innovative digital experiences.
She is currently the CEO of Urban Zen, a design vision and philosophy created by Donna Karan that defines the space where creativity, culture, and collaboration converge with retail, technology, wellness/healthcare, and social impact. Aboah oversees the brand’s operations including the Urban Zen Collection and artisanal partnerships, Urban Zen retail stores, Urban Zen Center, and the Urban Zen Foundation. She also leads the groundbreaking Urban Zen Integrative Therapy (UZIT) Program that integrates eastern healing modalities with western science. UZIT has trained over 900 integrative therapists who operate in UCLA Hospital, Motion Picture and Television Hospital, Northwell Hospital, Ohio State, and Stanford Medical Center to name a few.
Prior to this, Aboah was a member of the executive team at the global luxury brand
LVMH/Donna Karan International, where she was an early adopter to the increasingly important role technology was beginning to play and one of the first in the industry to embrace and adapt in order to maintain and future-proof the company’s position in the market. She moved on to Alexander Wang, where her interest and involvement in technology deepened as she partnered on the in-house rebuild of the brand’s e-commerce site.
Now, as CEO of Urban Zen, she combines her past and present experience to seamlessly integrate and connect industries -- retail, healthcare, philanthropic organizations, etc. She leads multiple disciplines from design, digital / web marketing, content marketing, sales, and product.
Aboah is an innovative and analytical leader, with experience driving growth and expanding businesses. She is dedicated to leading her team with a thoughtful and clear strategy and serving the customer by its deft execution.
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