Long before becoming chief creative officer at kate spade new york, Deborah Lloyd got her start in fashion specializing in menswear at London's Royal College of Art. As a fledgling designer, she strategically chose to focus on menswear, as very few women were doing so — and it worked. She ultimately crossed over to womenswear and wove her way through various brands including Daniel Hechter, Kenzo, Banana Republic, and Burberry before landing at kate spade new york in 2007.
When we saw Lloyd speak on a panel at the New York Power Your Happy book tour event last Fall, we were struck by her badass confidence and her funny, straightforward career advice. It's pretty simple, really: pursue the things you enjoy without worrying so much about the money. Find people who are good at the things you don't like doing. Also: smiling will get you further than you think.
Clearly an expert on brand building and the business of fashion, Lloyd shared some of her wisdom in our Power Your Happy Q&A.
Power Your Happy Q&A
What advice would you give your 22-year-old self?
Smile, say hello, and be confident. Look like you know what you are doing even if you don’t have a clue! Don’t be afraid to ask when you don’t know something.
What talent or passion have you been able to use in your career in an unexpected way?
I love collecting things — vintage jewelry, clothes, fabrics, photographs, paintings, ceramics — they all became incredibly useful when I joined kate spade new york.
What is the one thing that influenced your career today?
My desire to be surrounded by beautiful things!
What does "finding your happy" mean to you? Do you feel you’ve "found it"?
Working on something I love with people I love. Have I found it — oh yes!