Deborah Lloyd

Chief creative officer, Kate Spade

Deborah Lloyd
[Photo courtesy of Kate Spade New York]

For remaking a brand–and restructuring a culture.

No matter how many directions the Kate Spade label goes in–ready-to-wear, jewelry, the lower-priced Saturday label, swimwear, and its ubiquitous handbags–it always comes back to its core product: the story, with the Kate Spade “girl” as the heroine. To sell it, Deborah Lloyd has ensured that design and marketing work as one and shoppers are buying.

Per-square-foot sales have risen for 14 straight quarters. It’s an unabashedly commercial approach, unusual in fashion. “We’ve always gone our own way,” Lloyd says simply. “That’s our girl.”

About the author

Jeff Chu writes on international affairs, social issues, and design for Fast Company.His first book, Does Jesus Really Love Me?: A Gay Christian's Pilgrimage in Search of God in America, was published by HarperCollins in April 2013.

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