FASHION AND FINANCE: “Go work in a store and see what people want to buy.” That’s the advice from Steve Madden, founder of Steven Madden Ltd., who spoke at FIT’s Inaugural Fashion and Finance Forum on Thursday. Paula Sutter, president of Diane von Furstenberg Studio, told the students that curiosity is very important. “Get in there and learn. I took jobs not for how much I would make. It’s about how much can you learn,” she told attendees. Another participant, Diane D’Erasmo, executive vice president of commercial banking at HSBC USA, said that while it’s just as important to understand what a profit and loss statement is if you want to get ahead, students should also take a global perspective. “Americans typically think everything is America. Think trade volume…. The world is really bigger than the U.S.,” she said, suggesting that students consider working overseas and then coming back here to leverage what they’ve learned. Men’s wear designer Ninh Nguyen told the students that he tweets about “anything and everything. In this industry, its all about networking.” The program was moderated by J. Michael Stanley.

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