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“When you think the good old days were better, then you make your presence secondhand. It is the worst thing you can do as a crime to your life. So I always think the past is OK, but forget about it. What is important is now.”...

“When you think the good old days were better, then you make your presence secondhand. It is the worst thing you can do as a crime to your life. So I always think the past is OK, but forget about it. What is important is now.”

This story first appeared in the November 17, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

— Karl Lagerfeld

“I’m not much for, as they say, long-range planning. I say, any figure you write down that’s more than a week in front of you, you’re just making up, so what’s the point?”

— Barry Diller, InterActiveCorp.

“Customer service distinguishes and, to a large extent, drives the specialty store business. I believe the department store customer also wants service. They want to be waited on. But after a few visits where they may leave empty-handed and feel neglected, they take their business elsewhere.”

— Burt Tansky, The Neiman Marcus Group

“There’s been a heavy, heavy reliance on gross margin dollars from us vendors, and I think retailers need to get back to being great merchants like they were and focus less on promotional activities. They need to drive the business with excitement and energy.”

— Lawrence Stroll, Sportswear Holdings Ltd.

“Everything here looks very much the same and department stores have to rethink their business model.”

— Heinz Krogner, Esprit Holdings Ltd.

“I think about what I’m wearing today. A Michael Kors jacket, Charvet shirt, Levi’s 501’s, a Hermès belt, Weston shoes and no socks, ever! I think the reality is we all mix price points.”

— Michael Kors

“I feel confident in saying that within the next five years, some retail concept no one is anticipating will have taken the market by storm. And there is really nothing anyone can do to anticipate it or stop it.”

— Bruce Klatsky, Phillips-Van Heusen Corp.

“We basically call the next economy the emotile economy, which is a combination of emotional and motile.”

— Edie Weiner

“I see a lot of companies that have something strong going for themselves and they want to expand too rapidly and they want to do other things they aren’t supposed to do, and they fall apart…Push what you have within.”

— Fabien Baron

“We’re in Day One of the Internet revolution. The snooze alarm hasn’t even gone off yet.”

— Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com

“We recognize that globalization is inevitable and we are for free trade, if everybody plays by the same rules. But we oppose — and all free traders should oppose — the foul trade of government subsidies, illegal transshipments to avoid quotas and currency manipulation.”

— Wilbur Ross, W.L. Ross & Co.

“Young people aspire to be older, smarter and more mature than their age or experience allows and older folks wish they could reclaim their youth and relive some of their experiences.”

— Jed Petrick, The WB

“The most important thing I learned was to control your own destiny.”

— Diane von Furstenberg

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