NEW YORK — Stephen I. Sadove, chairman and chief executive officer of Saks Inc. and a former head of Clairol, knows a thing or two about branding and its relevance to college graduates seeking jobs.
“Your brand — yourself — will be the most important product you ever try to sell to an organization,” Sadove told the graduating class of LIM The College for the Business of Fashion during his keynote address at commencement exercises Friday at Jazz at Lincoln Center. “Just as at Clairol and Saks, we needed a clear positioning. So do you.”
Sadove didn’t say whether it will be easy or hard to find employment this year. Instead, he counseled the 210 graduates on how to do it, and how to achieve success once employed. He advised:
• Being open to learning new things, particularly those out of their comfort zone.
• Using volunteer opportunities or nonpaid internships to hone skills and make connections.
• Looking for career opportunities outside the norm or what was initially planned.
• When taking a position, take on as many challenges as possible.
• Don’t assume the highest starting salary is necessarily the best job. “The earning will come as the learning becomes the fabric of your life.”
• Giving back by supporting charities and causes. “It’s something we need to do in all stages of our work life.”
• Building relationships and alliances; finding a mentor.
“Focus on your own positioning statement,” Sadove said. “Have you created one about yourself?
“Many of you are going to be out looking for jobs. What makes you different? Why would you add value? Someone will probably ask them of yourself. It will help you focus on where you want to be and what you really want to do. It may sound strange to think of yourself as a product or a brand, but sometimes being objective can help you decide who you are, where you can fit and what you can hope to accomplish. And in developing that positioning for yourself, make sure you stay true to your own core values — what makes you tick.”
Before joining a company, “inquire about the leadership,” Sadove said. “Is there a clear strategic positioning? How are people treated? What’s the culture like? Do people enjoy what they do? Are they being developed, challenged and appreciated?”
During the ceremony, Sadove received LIM’s Distinguished Achievement Award and an honorary Doctor of Commercial Science Degree. Assemblyman Jonathan L. Bing of the 73rd Assembly District was presented an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree for his support of LIM, which has grown from 340 students in 2001 to about 1,300.
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)
Breaking News: @hedislimane joins @celine as its new artistic, creative and image director. One of fashion’s preeminent image-makers and trendsetters, Slimane is to join the LVMH brand on Feb. 1 and unveil his first fashion proposition for men and women next September during Paris Fashion Week. It marks a major homecoming for Slimane, who cemented his reputation – and influenced men’s tailoring for more than a decade – as the designer of Dior Homme between 2000 and 2007. He went on to reinvent and ignite the house of Yves Saint Laurent, which he rechristened Saint Laurent, between 2012 and 2016 – all the while maintaining a close relationship with the Arnault family, which controls LVMH and Dior. Read the full exclusive story on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
“Personally I believe the Eighties have been the richest and more vivacious period for international fashion,” Giorgio Armani said when asked what his favorite decade of fashion is. It was a moment of disruption and experimentation and only thinking back to the first years of that decade is always an emotion for me, for what they have meant to me and my work.” The influence is clear in @giorgioarmani spring 2018 collection, pictured here, which was full of bright colors and unexpected prints. Read more about which decades designers loved most on WWD.com #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
For Lady Gaga’s only Italian show on her “Joanne World Tour,” the singer wore a range of @versace_official outfits. The standout piece: this custom-made bodysuit inspired by the brand’s spring 2018 collection. #wwdfashion (RG: @ladygaga)
@_camillaruth_ is expanding on the wellness-craze concept with @westbourne – a new NYC restaurant that’s both a healthy-minded café as well as a business that gives back to the community. Marcus works with the Robin Hood foundation to give back to The Door, a non-profit providing youth development services, and also hires employees through The Door. Read our full interview with Marcus on giving back through food on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)