Pepperdine University, Graziadio School of Business
California State University Northridge
BA, History (1994)
AA Degree (1992)
Chatsworth High School
Houman Salem is the oldest son of Iranian immigrants whose roots are deep in District 27. The Salem family settled in Chatsworth CA in 1976, where Houman attended local public schools (Germain Street Elementary, Lawrence Middle School, and Chatsworth High School).
Growing up in the San Fernando Valley during the 1980s was not easy for the Salem family. As tensions between the USA and Iran continued to escalate after the fall of the Shah, the Salem family, like most Iranian families at that time, had to live a life of nervous isolation. But growing up, Houman was the epitome of the American youth. He discovered the guitar and rock-and-roll at the age of 8, played baseball at the Chatsworth Jr Baseball League (CJBL) in his teens, and got his first job at Wendy’s while at Chatsworth High School.
Houman attended Cal State Northridge, where he earned his BA degree in History. He was in the Northridge earthquake class of 1994. This graduating class had no buildings left on campus and they had to study in makeshift trailers among the wreckage and ruin that left the Valley looking like a 3rd world country. Despite the hardship and setbacks, Houman was steadfast in pursuing his dreams of working in the music industry. That semester, he earned an Internship with EMI-Capitol Records in Hollywood, and this began his career.
Houman spent the next 5 years working in the music industry. He held various early career positions at EMI-Capitol Records, Sony Music Group, and Universal Music Group. He decided to go back to school and earn his MBA while fully employed, working all day and studying all night. During this period, in 1998 and the early days of the Internet, Houman came up with an idea to build a media company that would deliver music 24/7 over the computer while incorporating audio advertising. Houman started the company which would ultimately become the conceptual predecessor to Pandora Radio. He raised money from Microsoft Windows Media for his venture and delivered music to over 2 million listeners.
Upon earning his MBA in 2001, Houman started a boutique management consulting firm where he provided business strategy consulting to start-ups and growth-stage companies in the technology , entertainment, and fashion industries. He worked alongside tech CEOs, film financiers, and venture capitalists on a continuous basis. Eventually, he would earn his CEO stripes when appointed to this position by one of his high profile fashion clients in 2003. Houman’s career in the fashion industry has taken him all over the world.
Today, Houman is the founder and CEO of one of America’s leading and most respected fashion design houses. His award winning company works with everyone from independent designers to national brands. The company design, develops, and manufactures fashion and apparel in the San Fernando Valley, where Houman is one of the pioneers of the American Made movement for fashion.
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