NEW YORK — Before picking up an honorary degree and a distinguished achievement award from LIM Thursday, Michael Gould offered graduates all sorts of career advice.
Whether quoting Vince Lombardi or Michael Jordan, the chairman and chief executive officer of Bloomingdale’s encouraged the crowd not to shy away from risk or to be afraid of failure.
Gould, who earned his bachelor of arts degree and MBA from Columbia University, recalled how Jordan once responded to a question about failure. “The NBA player said, ‘You know, I’ve missed over 9,000 shots in my life. I’ve lost almost 300 games. And 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed,’ ” Gould said.
Throughout his commencement address at Alice Tully Hall, the Bloomingdale’s chief spoke enthusiastically about pursuing a career and life with gusto. “In the 44-plus years, I’ve only had one job — briefly, for about three months in California — the rest of the time, I’ve had a passion,” he said, referring to his zeal for his career.
Gould also noted that when one of LIM’s graduates joins Bloomingdale’s in September, she will hear the same speech that has been given to newcomers for the past 21 years. “It says that pursuing your education does not stop. So when you come across this stage and get that diploma from LIM, it does not stop. One phase of your life stops and another phase starts,” Gould said. “So wherever you go, whatever institution you join, whatever you do in life, find that place that believes in educating their people and giving them an opportunity to grow as much as LIM has done,” Gould said. “As John Gardner said, ‘Life is an endless unfolding. And if we wish it to be, an endless process of self-discovery and an endless unpredictable dialogue between our own potential and the life situations in which we find ourselves.’ And by potential, he meant the full range of one’s capacities for learning, for sensing, for wondering, for understanding, for loving and for aspiring.”
After telling a good-versus-evil story from Cherokee folklore, Gould emphasized the need to continue to feed the good. “I wish for the endless feeding at the trough, the hope and the passion, the dreams of learning, of constant renewal and the lifelong quest that all of us have to be more than we thought we could be.”
Vigorous as he was with his delivery, Gould seemed to have no shortage of advice. In closing, he said, “Robert Louis Stevenson said it best when he said, ‘Old or young, we are all on our last cruise, we’re on our last cruise.’ We want it to mean something.”
In addition to Gould, Manhattan borough president Scott Stringer received an honorary degree from LIM.
From overseeing America’s fastest-growing speciality retailers to codifying cool, WWD talked to the women who are leading the way for the future of beauty. Check out our Instagram Stories to see how these women built today and are creating tomorrow. (📸: @hannah_khymych) #wwdbeauty
For @laperlalingerie's spring 2018 show, the brand chose to host their event at @thevenetianmacao. With Chinese megastars @bingbing_fan and @hubing in attendance, La Perla debuted a rock ‘n’ roll-inspired collection. The show marked the start of Sands Macao Fashion Week, which runs from October 19 to 24 — the city’s first such event. Pictured here are models backstage with glimmering eyes. #wwdfashion (📷: Cheuk-Yin To)
Trending for spring 2018: top stitch design. Gone are the days of stitch just for seams — designers are using the once-minimal detail to create strong decorative elements. (📷: Paola Testa; Styled by @andrew_shang) #wwdfashion
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)