Brad Pitt likes a boatneck.
Lubov Azria, chief creative officer of BCBGMaxAzriaGroup, shared this tidbit when asked to share one of her best moments in her long career in fashion.
"We were going to dress Angelina Jolie and we had a choice of three gowns with us. When we got there, she said she wanted Brad to pick," she said. With other celebrities, "there's usually a staff of 10 people who all have an opinion. He was very decisive. He's an architect and likes geometric things. He chose the dress that everyone thought was backwards, and it was. He likes boatnecks -- that's all she wears."
Lubov joined stylist Lori Goldstein, Saks Fifth Avenue chief creative officer Terron Schaefer and Gap executive vice-president for global design Patrick Robinson on a panel Wednesday evening titled "A Life in Fashion." The talk was presented to 125 public high-school students on New York's Lincoln Center campus and Wall Street Journal columnist Teri Agins moderated. Sponsors included the New York City's Department of Education and Housing Authority, the Council of Fashion Designers of America, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week producer IMG Fashion and Lincoln Center.
The creative types offered words of wisdom to the students in the audience, many of whom aspire to have careers in the fashion industry.
"Work for someone to work on your craft," Robinson said. "There's no shame in working for someone else." He added that it's important to be able to say what you want to do. "If you love eveningwear, don't feel bad about telling me that. We can find a path for you to take," he said, adding that it's much worse when someone can't answer the question.
Always be ready to get your hands dirty and work, Goldstein said. "When someone shows up for work in high heels, I'm suspect."
Azria added: Do your homework on any company you want to work for. "I once asked someone in an interview, when was the last time you were in one of our stores. This person asked me, where is the closest store? I said, there's only 190 stores to choose from," she said with exasperation. "I want to hire the person who says she'll do our windows, our floors and serve us breakfast."
Sharing his best think-outside-of-the-box moment, Saks' Schaefer told of how the store's shoe floor ended up with its own ZIP code.
Schaefer had read that the U.S. Post Office was going to start issuing alphanumeric combinations to ZIP codes. And when Saks was launching its new shoe-only floor, he wanted it to have its own ZIP code.
"I went to Washington and spoke to the postmaster general and told him he could have 10022-COKE and 10022-FORD and 10022-NIKE. Every Ford dealership in American could have its own ZIP code," he said. "I gave them an idea that they can make millions off of," and in exchange, he got 10022-SHOE for Saks free of charge.
For more stylish advice, read why editor Kate Betts chose to write a book about Michelle Obama's ever-evolving style.