Creating the Next Luxury Brand–Powered by Artists

Entrepreneur Bettina Huang (MBA ’12), CEO and Co-Founder of Platform, helps catapult art beyond the art world
Bettina Huang (MBA '12), CEO & Co-Founder of Platform

Bettina Huang (MBA ’12) shares what inspired a career in luxury e-commerce, the mischief she got into growing up in NYC, and how she came to partner with the David Zwirner Gallery on an innovative way to access art.



When New York City is your childhood playground, you can have extraordinary experiences just running around the city. That is how Bettina Huang, who grew up on Mulberry Street as one of five sisters, describes it.

“I have fond memories of rollerblading in Central Park, interning at Summer Stage, running a lemonade stand at Union Square, climbing on rooftops, and frequent visits to museums,” she shared.
For Bettina, the museum trips sparked an appreciation of art. Its historical context laid the foundation for her entrepreneurial path, which found a new way of bringing fine art beyond the art world and to a much larger world of people who buy from luxury brands and care about aesthetics and culture.
While she studied art history as an undergrad, she also pursued economics “because I wanted to hedge my bets if the art thing didn’t work out,” Bettina said.
But after spending time in the art industry at both Sotheby’s and Christie's, she decided the established art world wasn’t for her. “Too elitist,” she said. “Plus, the art world was adverse to innovation, which was incompatible with my way of thinking.” Ready to learn new things, she decided to pursue her MBA.

Bettina Huang (MBA '12), CEO & Co-Founder of Platform


For Bettina, NYU Stern was the perfect choice because it allowed her to obtain field experience while pursuing her degree. She was able to do a number of internships, including in fashion, but ultimately she became interested in e-commerce, which started to take off in the early 2010s with VC money flowing into sites like, Rent the Runway, and Net-a-Porter.
While she didn’t have aspirations to be an entrepreneur at the time, Bettina took part in the Berkley Center’s Entrepreneur Challenge. “We didn’t get very far in the competition, but it was a great low-stakes way to go from ideation to a business plan and figuring out how to operationalize it,” she said. “I took away a lot of valuable experiences like that from Stern that I use to this day, especially how to marry operations and strategy.”
After Stern, Bettina spent time at several e-commerce sites, including and Quidsi, where she learned to understand consumer psychology and what motivates shoppers to hit the ‘buy now’ button. At, a design-focused site with a loyal customer base, she noted that the company was selling to customers who were ripe for buying good art, and to get them to actually do that, you’d have to disentangle the process of buying great art from the antiquated and elitist practices of the art world.
Back in 2020, when Bettina was working as a consultant and thinking about her next move, she reached out to her former boss from Christie’s, the COO at David Zwirner Gallery, to ask for advice. “That conversation led to me pitching David Zwirner on the idea that would become Platform,” said Bettina. “He represents the art establishment but is also very open-minded, and we quickly aligned and jumped right into building.” Zwirner came on board as an initial investor, and his two adult children co-founded Platform along with Bettina. Together, they combine expertise in luxury e-commerce with the highest level of access to great art.
Launched in 2021, Platform began by doing for art what Net-a-Porter did for fashion: selecting only the best offerings and making them simple to buy online. As of this year, Platform has expanded into its own luxury brand, where it works with globally-known artists like Raymond Pettibon, Katherine Bernhardt and Josh Smith to create limited-edition products — each product an idiosyncratic extension of the artist’s practice. As Bettina describes it, Platform is more about consumer psychology and finding people who are interested in culture, art, and design, and making art exciting and easy to buy, whether or not you’re interested in the art world.
“When customers come to Platform, they trust our expertise and know that what we are presenting on the site is all really good,” she explained. Plus, she is pleased that Platform features a lot of BIPOC artists, with a breakdown that represents the country. “That is unusual for an art institution,” said Bettina. “In fact, our BIPOC artists sell even better, which shows that there is a hunger for artists who haven’t had a ‘platform’ in the past.”


Bettina Huang (MBA '12), CEO & Co-Founder of Platform


Does she have favorite art movements? Not really. “I love a variety of things, from conceptual work by James Turrell to a romantic portrait by Elizabeth Peyton or a Rembrandt,” said Bettina.
As for staying connected to Stern, Bettina finds the network to be invaluable and hopes to do an event about art collecting for the alumni community this coming year.