• Matt Kaness

  • Matt KanessMatt Kaness (MBA ’02) is CEO and board director of ModCloth Inc., an independent lifestyle retailer of women's fashion apparel, accessories and home decor headquartered in San Francisco, with offices in Los Angeles and Pittsburgh. Matt joined ModCloth in January 2015.

    Prior to ModCloth, Kaness served as chief strategy officer of Urban Outfitters, Inc., based in Philadelphia. During his seven-plus year tenure, Urban Outfitters grew revenues from about $1 billion to over $3 billion and pioneered an industry-leading omni-channel customer experience. As a member of the executive team, Kaness was accountable for strategy, business development, corporate development and strategic marketing across all brands, concepts, geographic markets and consumer channels. Moreover, Kaness led the strategic development of Urban Outfitter’s direct-to-consumer business, Asian expansion and new concept development, including the launch of Terrain and BHLDN.

    Prior to Urban Outfitters, Kaness served as a management consultant in the consumer and retail practice of PRTM (since acquired by PwC), with a focus on product development, sourcing and supply chain. He spent significant time at Burton Snowboards, based in Burlington, Vermont.

    Kaness earned a degree in mechanical engineering from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., in addition to his MBA from Darden.

    How has Darden impacted your life?

    Without Darden, I would not be doing what I'm doing today. It opened my eyes to a world yet to be discovered, birthed life-long family friendships and gave me the tools to pursue my professional aspirations.

    What’s the most memorable experience you had as a student at Darden?

    There are too many to pick one. One worth noting was in the fall of my Second Year when I saw 9-11 occur. Needless to say, it was a tough time for everybody, but the way our class, teachers and administration bonded together to support and comfort each other in the immediate aftermath, as well as the way we tried to get back to some normalcy, created a special bond that survives today. It's such a special place.

    What’s the most memorable experience you’ve had as a Darden alumnus?

    I spent the last three years on the Darden Corporate Advisory Board, and it was an honor to be a part of it with so many distinguished alumni. More specifically, the opportunity to serve Darden and support Dean Bruner was cherished time for me. We are fortunate to have had Dean Bruner over this last decade.

    What’s the best advice you have ever received?

    Know thyself. Be true to who you are, be authentic, follow your inner compass. Everything else follows.

    What’s your personal motto?

    Live for others.

    How do you measure success?

    I honestly don't. I've been blessed beyond my wildest dreams. Twenty-two-year-old Matt is virtually high-fivin' this guy.

    What motivates you?

    I'm inspired by the extraordinary feats accomplished by all of the unsung people in my life, starting with my wife, Theresa, who has raised our three wonderful children and been my rock. Everyday, I try to live up to the example of those who have sacrificed for me, of which there are many.