Photo of Rob Smith

Rob Smith

Founder / CEO, The Phluid Project


Rob Smith, Founder of The Phluid Project, is a highly accomplished Senior Executive, Entrepreneur and Board member with more than 30 years of experience in the apparel, fashion, sports goods, and merchandising industries. Leveraging extensive experience focusing on global consumer insights and foreseeing and maximizing emerging trends through end-to-end, multi-channel strategic management, Rob is a valuable asset to startups, mid-sized and well-established apparel and fashion companies seeking expert assistance with growth strategies, growth inhibitor analysis, turnarounds, product portfolio, and product placement. His key areas of expertise include youth businesses, retail, brand development, wholesale, e-commerce, merchant, international experience, merchandising, design, planning, product development, supply chain, and go-to-market strategy.

Rob consistently creates strategies that reflect a deep understanding of customer needs, global and regional preferences, product development and assortment planning, while maximizing strong margins. Throughout his executive career, Rob has worked in a variety of successful leadership positions for well-known companies and brands. Most recently, at Haddad Brands – Nike, Levi’s, Jordan, Converse, Rob provided strategic oversight in daily operations of the design, branding, sourcing, and marketing departments. He led a team of 100, including 4 VPs and 20 managers. While at Victoria’s Secret, he directed a $600M apparel, shoe and accessory business for catalog and online distribution, managed content for 65 catalogs yearly, and created the industry’s #1 ranked website. During his 20+ years at Macy’s, he led a team of 6 VPs and 75 executives, successfully merging four operating divisions into one division, while delivering sales and profit growth. He consistently executed more than 6 mergers of Macy’s divisions into one successful Macy’s.

Rob’s background and his bringing The Phluid Project to fruition is a personal venture which is a reflection of his professional experience and driven by his intimate passion and understanding of how today’s youth thinks, their unwavering persistence in social responsibility and carving out a niche that has greater relevance than ever before recognized or appreciated. Rob presently serves on the Board of Steve Madden Ltd. Member of the Compensation and Corporate Governance Committees; he is a Board Member and Chair of the Hetrick Martin Institute and the HMI Emery Awards - Hetrick- Martin Institute; and is a Board Member for Athlete Ally and launched the Athlete Ally Action Awards. Rob holds a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Marketing Management from Michigan State University.

Member Directory