Brent D. Smith Bio
From Iowa to Tokyo
Growing up in Iowa, Brent always wanted to get out. In 1990, after graduating from the University of Iowa, he immediately moved to Tokyo, Japan where he went to work for Intercontinental Trading Corporation, a Japanese trading company that held the license for Cuban Tobacco in Japan. Always one to be aware of trends, Brent worked with the owner to create The Cigar Club in the center of Tokyo, just down the hill from the Tokyo American Club. With a built-in clientele from the American Club, he worked to create a club-like atmosphere, hosting dinners, cigar tastings and making a place where men (and a few women) enjoyed coming at the end of the day to share a cigar with their friends.
After having built a reputation of creating a retail environment that was about the experience and not just the cigar, Brent was asked by luxury brands to partner with them and create retail experiences around their brands for The Cigar Club members. Finally, after having worked with these luxury brands, Estee Lauder asked him to create a press launch event for their new fragrance called Havana. And as they say, the rest is history...
The Beauty Industry
In 1997, Brent went on to work for the Estee Lauder Group of Companies in Japan as the Sales and Marketing Manager for the Aramis Division. While at Aramis, Brent was instrumental in launching Tommy Hilfiger Toiletries, Donna Karan Fragrances, Lab Series for Men skincare and finally, La Mer. He was then promoted to Brand General Manager of MAC Cosmetics, a division of Estee Lauder.
The Home Furnishings Industry
In the Fall of 2001, Brent moved to Los Angeles and became the Brand General Manager of Barbara Barry Incorporated, a leading interior/product design company.
Retail In Asia
Brent joined Chanintr Living Ltd. in Bangkok, Thailand as Chief Marketing Officer in June 2006 where he was responsible for guiding their brand to prominence in the Thai market and launching the first mono-brand Barbara Barry store, Martha Stewart Furniture, Thomasville, Hickory Chair, Sleep to Live mattress stores, Bulthaup kitchens, Minotti and Chanintr Living's original modern concept store, Craft.
In May 2012, after having been with Chanintr Living Ltd. for six years, Brent felt it was time for a career change as he wanted to work in the rapidly growing Asian market. First through consulting for retailers on the Ralph Lauren Home brand, Brent opened the Ralph Lauren Home Furniture Gallery at Siam Paragon Mall in April 2013.
Being an American, Brent has always been interested in American design and brands. His goal with The Brent Smith Group is to create a boutique brand and sales representation company and retail / brand consultancy that stays true to his belief that American design needs a "voice" in the Asian market that is experiential and tasteful in it's presentation.
Brent spends his time between Bangkok, Tokyo and Farmington, Iowa...population 650. He welcomes emails and discussion on American brands.