What I’ve learned from Deborah Lloyd Kate Spade’s chief creative officer

This post is also available in: Italian

Deborah Lloyd is the creative director of the american brand Kate Spade since 2007. With a background in art and a Master’s degree at the Royal College of Art in London she specialized in menswear and she got offers from Gucci and worked for Byblos and Daniel Hechter, the Parisian brand that moved her to womeswear, then Burberry and now as chief creative officer at Kate Spade. In an interview she explains her career path and the success of the brand Kate Spade, here’s what I learned from her  and what you can learn too if you want to work in fashion:

Do also when nobody tells you

While she was at Burberry at that time there were not rules and the collection was disorganized, so one day she decided to create a capsule collection of 14 pieces that she thought represents the DNA brand. No one had asked her to do it, she felt that it was good for the company and, in fact, hes intuition was the right one. All of a sudden, the first pieces started to be sold. These were the times of the first trench dress and Kate Moss, it was then that Burberry took the road to success. This teaches us that doing what we feel is best for the company, even if it is something that is not asked, always pays 😉 It never hurts to do more!

Start with a strategy

Deborah Lloyd had a clear strategy when she chose to specialize in menswear : there were very few women designers who created collections for men and there wasn’t lots of successful menswear designers. So this was the easiest way  to get noticed. What can we learn from her choice? You can find the success also from a smaller company or a less developed market , sometimes starting from a less well known company can be an advantage because you learn more, there is less competition and satisfactions comes early.

Have some courage

Before Kate Spade, Deborah Lloyd worked at Banana Republic for 6 years, until when the pressure was too high and her creativity trapped. So she preferred to leave her job in order to not create collections based only on the margins that did not reflect her creativity. Then she got a new job at Kate Spade and introduced the RTW. This is the proof that also behind what it may seems a scary choice there is something more behind. You need to have the courage to face the problems and give the direction you want to your career and life.


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