5 Questions about Fashion & Merchandising with The Limited CEO Linda Heasley
April 27, 2012
•IADT General, IADT Sacramento, Fashion Design and Merchandising
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Linda Heasley, president and CEO of retail fashion giant The Limited, recently visited the IADT-Sacramento campus. She met students and spoke about her leadership style and tips for success in the working world as well as sharing background on the retail industry in general and The Limited’s evolution.
Shortly after her visit, Linda shared further thoughts with us, touching on her work at The Limited, fashion trends, merchandising and career advice for our students.
1. IADT: One of your challenges upon taking the helm at The Limited was pinpointing the brand’s target audience. You accomplished this by creating Tyler Monroe. Who is Tyler Monroe, and how does she help shape the marketing and merchandising efforts of The Limited?
LINDA: Tyler Monroe is fabulous! She is the edit point of the brand. She’s a modern young woman – 28 years old, living in Chicago, working for a marketing firm, with an active social life, and an effortless sense of style.
We look at everything we do through the eyes of this modern, young woman – she drives all of our decision-making in design, merchandising and marketing. We’re always asking ourselves, “Would Tyler wear this?”
2. IADT: Along those lines, what are some of the biggest fashion trends we’ll see represented in The Limited stores this spring?
LINDA: Spring is all about color – all shades of color – ranging from soft pastels to bold brights, and as we head into Summer, it’s all about white! At The Limited, you can expect to see lots of color – including colored bottoms.
3. IADT: Success in the retail fashion industry isn’t just about selecting the right styles and garments to sell but about presenting them in the most appealing way – how do The Limited’s new and remodeled stores reflect this?
LINDA: Each new or remodeled store features a modern motif with taupe walls, white shelving and red accents on the ceilings. This lighter, brighter and more upbeat look allows our collection to stand out. Some of the other elements of the new store design were created to enhance the shopping experience – welcoming lounge areas are incorporated for shopping companions and expanded fitting rooms facilitate one-on-one styling with customers.
4. IADT: What are the three most important pieces of career advice you can share with IADT’s fashion and merchandising students?
LINDA: Don’t be so focused on one idea of success or a job title – when I was more open to taking detours, I found some of my best experiences. Be open to opportunities and don’t be afraid to take some risks.
5. IADT: You have a background in business analytics and hadn’t planned on ending up on the retail side. What opportunities exist for IADT students in the retail arena that they may not be aware of? What types of experience should they be trying to gain while still in school?
LINDA: Never underestimate the value of experiences you’ll gain by working in the stores. No matter what type of role you’re looking for in the retail industry – design, marketing or even finance – it’s always important to understand the customer.