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Deborah Lloyd

Chief creative officer, Kate Spade

[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."