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How She Got There: Sharon Lombardo, Creative Director of Anne Klein


Name: Sharon Lombardo


Twitter: @sharonplombardo

Pinterest: @sharonplombardo 

Job Title and Description: Creative Director of Anne Klein

College Name/Major: FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising)- Major in Fashion Design

What does your current job entail? Is there such a thing as a typical day?

I oversee the overall creative direction for the Anne Klein brand. Each day is different-  I research design trends, fabrics and materials, meet with design and creative marketing teams and sketch for upcoming collections. There are never enough hours in a day.

What is the best part of your job? 

The best part of my job is being inspired by other great designers who I am so lucky to work with.

What was your first entry-level job in your field and how did you get it?

The first thing I ever worked on was my own collection of skateboard/snowboard inspired clothing. I grew up surrounded by the industry, my father was on the product development side of the fashion industry and San Diego is a mecca for action sports companies, it all felt very familiar to me from the get-go.  I borrowed a few thousand dollars from parents and created a small sample line of apparel that I then took it to an industry trade show, where I wrote our first orders.  Over the next eight years I really learned a lot; everything from product development to shipping to stores!

What words of wisdom do you find most valuable?

Keep it simple.

What is one mistake you made along the way and what did you learn from it?

I’ve made the mistake along the way of trying to please too many people too much of the time, whether it was in product design or making workplace decision. I have learned that when you do that you lose your point of view, which is the most important and valuable thing to keep hold of.

What has been the most surreal moment of your career thus far?

One of the most surreal moments of my career thus far has been meeting with Donna Karan shortly after taking this position at Anne Klein to discuss her memories of Anne and the brand, it is an incredible privilege to follow her footsteps at a brand with such a strong heritage in American fashion.  I have always been a huge fan of Donna and Anne Klein’s work so for both of those worlds to come together in that way was incredible.

What do you look for when considering hiring someone?

I look for genuine passion – it is so important to be passionate about the things you are creating, it gives your work a sense of authenticity.

What advice would you give to a 20-something with similar aspirations?

Get as much experience as possible – take as many internships and classes as you possibly can, you never know who you will meet and where the road will lead you.

What's the one thing that's stood out to you the most in a resume?

I look at where people have studied, where they have interned, where they have worked previously and for how long they have worked somewhere.  I like to see applicable experience, dedication, strong drive and distinct sense of direction.

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