In an exclusive interview, Dean Stith talks to Damian McKnight about the personal roots of his career, The September Issue, and leading fashion designer/director Tom Ford.
As a Sr. Merchandise Manager for a top Dallas fashion design firm, Dean combines the eye of an artist, with dollars-and-cents practicality.
A regular on the Dallas fashion scene, Dean Stith stays ahead of the fashion curve by connecting the latest in fashion styles--the right product, at the right place, at the right moment--with his customers.
It's a delicate balancing act requiring the perfect juxtaposition of communication, industry knowledge, analytical skills, and a passion for all things fashion.
Tell us a little about your role as Sr. Merchandise Manager?
I plan, buy, and merchandise fashion clothing line for stores in US and Europe.
Did you need a particular educational background?
There are merchandising degrees offered that help, but I had a strong background in finance (BBA in Finance) and retail (managed stores for 3 years).
What are your professional goals for the next six months?
Since this is a new role for me at my company (I was in production in the past), I am trying to learn everything I can from my superiors. I am soaking it all in.
What is the strongest asset you bring to your career?
My creativity! This job is a great blend of business and creativity. I feel you can learn the business but creativity is hard to teach.
What is the most important thing you've accomplished in your career?
I've implemented programs that have defined the brand and driven our business to unprecedented success.
What has been the biggest influence on your career?
My managers- I am lucky to have had many great people guiding me throughout my career. Without their attention and support, I would not be where I am today.
Who is the person you admire most in the industry?
Tom Ford. He can do anything. Not only does he run a successful brand, but the guy can direct and write movies--all while looking like a supermodel.
What musician, song, book, TV show, movie or play produced in the last year has been most inspiring to you, either personally or professionally?
The September Issue. This movie inspires me to not only work incredibly hard, but to believe in myself and be the BEST. It reminds me to surround myself with talented people that together can achieve more than I can alone. And how can you not fall in love with the fashion world after watching this movie!!!!