Ms. Goga Ashkenazi
Born in Kazakhstan, raised in Moscow, and educated in the United Kingdom since childhood, Ashkenazi is a highly motivated and successful entrepreneur whose business experience spans across a myriad of diversified industries from finance, oil and gas, to real estate, engineering and most recently high fashion. Currently the Chairwoman and Creative Director of the 100 year old fashion label Vionnet, Ashkenazi possesses a degree in Modern History and Economics from Oxford University, has taken fashion design courses at Moscow State University of Design and Technology, and has sat on the board of a number of multi-national companies with global business interests. Drawing upon her varied business background, experience with differing corporate cultures and wide personal interests, she has creatively crafted an innovative professional path and become a highly regarded businesswoman along the way.
Ashkenazi began her career in the investment banking sector at top financial institutions such as Merrill Lynch (London), ABN AMRO (Hong Kong), Morgan Stanley (London). In 2003, she started her own oil & gas engineering and construction company, MunaiGas-Engineering Group, where she served as Chairman and CEO. In directing all of the company’s activities, in addition to brokering mining deals in East Kazakhstan, Goga demonstrated a flair for entrepreneurialism, savvy business thinking and a proven track record of strong company management.
She now brings her business expertise and innovative thinking to the fashion industry, a personal passion that she has stoked since childhood. In May 2012, Ashkenazi took a majority stake in Vionnet, a recently re-launched label originally founded by the revolutionary fashion designer Madame Madeleine Vionnet in 1912. By November 2012, her holding company, GoTo Enterprises Sarl, gained full control of the brand. Ashkenazi, who uniquely heads both the creative and business sides of the Milan-based company, is personally committed to renewing this historic gem to its former glory, developing a global retail network and profitably growing its business.
Ashkenazi is a passionate supporter of a number of charitable organizations, including her own “Erkin” charitable foundation she founded to help handicapped children in Kazakhstan which supports over 400 individual cases on an ongoing basis and has been able to fund over 500 individually directed medical assistant acts. She is also on the board of Angel Foundation, created by Denise Rich to benefit leukemia patients, and also actively supports Portland hospital in London. Ashkenazi also deeply committed to the arts. She is a chairwoman of the London Hermitage Council and a board member of the Serpentine Gallery Council in London.
Ashkenazi has lived and travelled around the globe. Currently she resides in Milan where Vionnet’s headquarters are based.