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Saks’ Sadove Tells Graduates “Make Yourself a Brand” in Keynote Address at LIM College’s 70th Commencement

210 Students Receive Diplomas at Lincoln Center Ceremony 5/22/2009

Stephen I. Sadove, Chairman and CEO of Saks Incorporated, told the Class of 2009 that they should create their own brand and positioning statement for their career decisions in his keynote address at the College’s 70th annual Commencement ceremony.

Commencement 2009

Mr. Sadove was also presented with LIM College’s Distinguished Achievement Award and an honorary Doctor of Commercial Science degree at the ceremony, during which 210 LIM Colleg students received degrees. The Honorable Jonathan L. Bing, Assemblyman representing New York State’s 73rd Assembly District was also awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree. The Valedictorian of LIM College’s Class of 2009 was Jessica Morgenstern.

"Fashion does not exist in a vacuum. It is profoundly influenced by—and can have a profound influence on—many other aspects of our lives. Think about it—when Barack Obama declared his candidacy for President, a new era dawned—for the fashion world. And it came in the form of one Michelle Obama. From the moment that she stepped onto the world stage, Mrs. Obama’s wardrobe choices have been breathlessly chronicled on television, in newspapers and on the Internet. And on January 20 millions of Americans were glued to their TV screens in anticipation of history being made. Yes, we wanted to see the new President take the oath of office. But let’s face it; some of us, particularly those of us at LIM College, were really excited to see what and who Michelle would be wearing. What is particularly interesting to me about all the attention surrounding the First Lady’s wardrobe is not whether she wears sleeves or not –but rather what the frenzy surrounding her means for the business of fashion,” said LIM College President Elizabeth S. Marcuse.

“The need for well-educated, creative and passionate people who can play a leading role in the reinvention of our industry and our economy has never been greater.”

“Globally, clothing and footwear alone account for hundreds of billions worth of business every year. But you only need to look at one item of apparel to get a tangible sense of just how fast, far-reaching, and multi-faceted the fashion business really is—and just how many opportunities exist for you within it. For every single item that Mrs. Obama wears, there are a multitude of managers, marketers, and merchandisers involved in its life cycle—and though they work largely out of public view, they are the industry’s backbone.”

“Be bold and set yourself apart. The need for well-educated, creative and passionate people who can play a leading role in the reinvention of our industry and our economy has never been greater and you will be those people,” President Marcuse concluded.



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