Kate Spade Creative Director’s ‘People-First’ Approach Always in Style
By Jay Hodgkins
Kate Spade Senior Director of Marketing and Creative Miho Sugimoto (MBA ’93) wasn’t sure about working in the fashion industry at first. She worked at companies like Starbucks and Coca-Cola after graduating from the University of Virginia Darden School of Business, but then she was convinced the industry offered the sort of speed and innovation that drives her.
Sugimoto discussed her work in the fashion industry in a new profile on The Network section of the Darden website.
She flies between Japan and New York City, directing Kate Spade’s marketing efforts on both sides of the globe and overseeing everything from how products are presented in stores to how the company uses data analytics to attract new customers. And she loves it.
“What I enjoy most is the speed and the innovation when you bring a product to launch,” she said. “We have stores around the world, and if you want to improve something, you can often make the change very quickly and see results in one or two days.”
Sugimoto also shared how the people-first mentality she learned at Darden still guides her management approach.
“It is always people who drive the business and matter most,” Sugimoto said. “Creating an environment where every team member can exercise leadership in their area of expertise and feel valued is becoming more and more critical in a rapidly moving world that demands agility and creativity.”
Read the full profile on The Network.
The University of Virginia Darden School of Business prepares responsible global leaders through unparalleled transformational learning experiences. Darden’s graduate degree programs (MBA, MSBA and Ph.D.) and Executive Education & Lifelong Learning programs offered by the Darden School Foundation set the stage for a lifetime of career advancement and impact. Darden’s top-ranked faculty, renowned for teaching excellence, inspires and shapes modern business leadership worldwide through research, thought leadership and business publishing. Darden has Grounds in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the Washington, D.C., area and a global community that includes 18,000 alumni in 90 countries. Darden was established in 1955 at the University of Virginia, a top public university founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 in Charlottesville, Virginia.
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