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Meet the Saks Insiders

Deborah Walters Makes the World Beautiful

Deborah Walters, Senior Vice President and Divisional Merchandise Manager of Beauty, at Saks for 19 years is a true beauty connoisseur. From the best skincare regimen to a jam-packed makeup bag, Walters shares with us everything she loves about beauty.  I knew I wanted to work in beauty when… I was promoted to my first assistant buyer role in cosmetics. It was love on day one and remains so today. The best thing about my job is… Great people and great products. The pace of the business…..everyday….the constant evolution and innovation of products and ideas. Beauty is a category that transcends ages, demographics, ethnicities…. something for everyone. And, most importantly, a category of business that is all about making an individual feel their best and look their…

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Deborah Walters, Senior Vice President and Divisional Merchandise Manager of Beauty, at Saks for 19 years is a true beauty connoisseur. From the best skincare regimen to a jam-packed makeup bag, Walters shares with us everything she loves about beauty. 

I knew I wanted to work in beauty when…
I was promoted to my first assistant buyer role in cosmetics. It was love on day one and remains so today.

The best thing about my job is…
Great people and great products. The pace of the business…..everyday….the constant evolution and innovation of products and ideas. Beauty is a category that transcends ages, demographics, ethnicities…. something for everyone. And, most importantly, a category of business that is all about making an individual feel their best and look their best.

My biggest challenge is…
Making the time to get out to visit our stores and customers.

I cannot live without my…
Clarisonic. I use it morning and night, I take it with me everywhere. It is such the perfect way to cleanse your skin and get the ultimate benefits from your skincare regime.

In my makeup bag, you are likely to find…
Too much! I tend to keep adding to my bag and find it hard to take anything out. For now, my top must have’s are: Tom Ford lipstick in Flamingo, Dolce and Gabbana’s lipgloss in Raspberry. YSL Touche Eclat, Dior Diorshow Mascara, Clé de Peau concealer, Nars long-wear eye pencil in every color, Laura Mercier Secret Finish for a quick moisture boost, especially good around the eyes mid-day, Trish McEvoy’s Flawless Lip Color, La Prairie White Caviar Illuminating Hand Cream, EAU du SOIR travel atomizer, Chanel UV Essentiel SPF 50, Chanel Poudre Universelle Compact, Guerlain Terra Cotta Light.

And, mints, eye drops, Nars Oil Blotting Papers, Tweezerman, nail file.

My signature scent is…
EAU du SOIR from Sisley. Early in my career, on my very first trip to Paris, I had the great opportunity to meet the creator and owner of this fabulously, exclusive, French brand, Hubert d’Ornano and his wife, Isabella. She was and remains such an inspiration to me on both a personal and professional level. She has such style, poise, chic beyond — and a most accomplished woman. I loved the scent she was wearing — it was so unique, complex, rich, feminine. I layer the scent every day starting with the luscious shower gel and the rich, moisturizing perfumed body cream. It is my little luxury treat every day.

My favorite skincare product is…
UV Protection. It is an absolute must step in my daily skincare routine. I will not step out of the house without applying to my face and neck as the last step to my regimen. There are many wonderful products but my current favorite is Chanel’s UV Essential Multi Protection SPF 50. In addition to protecting my skin it’s also a great make-up primer.

This summer, I will splurge on…
My current renovation of my 100-year-old antique home in Connecticut. I do have a personal objective to take up paddle boarding this summer with the kids. So, a paddle board is on my shortlist.

This summer, I cannot wait for…
Our traditional family get away to Martha’s Vineyard. Our extended family joins us from Texas and everyone has a great time. We all start the countdown for next year, the minute we get home.

The best beauty advice I’ve ever received was…
From my mother when I was quite young. She always took great care of her skin and she taught me early on that no matter what, you should properly cleanse your skin every night. I have stayed true to her advice and this has been my mantra as well. Also, she told me to stay out of the sun, but I was not so true to this one. However, I always use sun protection.

 

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Meet the Saks Insiders

James Krohn: The stylist of San Francisco

James Krohn, Director, Fifth Avenue Club, Saks Fifth Avenue in San Francisco, looks at fashion as art and his clients as his canvas. With instant access to anything at Saks Fifth Avenue, Krohn can’t wait to assist his loyal list of clients with exactly what they need to have right now. I knew I wanted to work in fashion when… My Grandmother took me to the Rive Gauche boutique when I was seven years old, and I still remember the impact that the ‘theater’ of the store experience had on me.  I certainly didn’t know it then, but over time fashion felt like a great intersection of my aesthetic nature, my love of people and my entrepreneurial skills. I’ve learned the most by working with……

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James Krohn, Director, Fifth Avenue Club, Saks Fifth Avenue in San Francisco, looks at fashion as art and his clients as his canvas. With instant access to anything at Saks Fifth Avenue, Krohn can’t wait to assist his loyal list of clients with exactly what they need to have right now.

I knew I wanted to work in fashion when…
My Grandmother took me to the Rive Gauche boutique when I was seven years old, and I still remember the impact that the ‘theater’ of the store experience had on me.  I certainly didn’t know it then, but over time fashion felt like a great intersection of my aesthetic nature, my love of people and my entrepreneurial skills.

I’ve learned the most by working with…

I recently accompanied Joseph Boitano on a buying trip to Europe where we travelled to ‘curate’ special pieces for the San Francisco market.  I was completely in awe of Mr. Boitano’s peerless taste and his understanding of our market as a former Bay area native.

The best thing about my job is…
The relationship that we have with our clients is unique and we are often called upon to give suggestions beyond the fitting room, as our clients trust our taste and p.o.v.  It is a luxury to work my very talented team of stylists and to have the ability to sell only the things that we truly love.

In my closet you will find…
A fluid document with new things constantly coming and old things departing. I’m the opposite of a hoarder.

I usually invest most in my…
Blazers and suits. I try to get a nice balance between interesting classics and fun ‘of the moment’ pieces that I wear for a couple of seasons and then re-sell.

For a new client, I would usually suggest investing in…
I’m a big believer in buying less and buying better.  Investing in key pieces that are ‘chameleons’ is the smartest way to build a wardrobe.  These should include a great outerwear piece, a perfectly fitting sheath dress, great pumps that are as comfortable and as high as you can swing, a cool clutch, and a signature piece of jewelry.

When working with a client, my personal philosophy is…
You do someone a disservice if you dress them in one designer’s product head-to-toe. Mixing designers requires more confidence, but it connotes sophistication and self-assurance.

The best fashion advice I can give a client is…
Accentuate positive body traits and play down the ‘less than positive’ ones. If you’ve got great legs, flaunt them. If you have pretty shoulders make sure that you show them. Small waist? Cinch it!


Meet the Saks Insiders

What to wear today? How to style your look? Denise Magid has the answers.

It was in high school when Denise Magid, Vice President, Divisional Merchandise Manager of Contemporary Sportswear, knew the fashion business was for her. From designing her own prom dress to working with designers like Diane Von Furstenberg to bring the greatest mix to Saks, Magid has certainly come a long way.  I knew I wanted to work in fashion when… In freshman year of high school I was infatuated with the Seventies and so I designed my own bell bottoms. I also designed my own prom dress and picked out the fabric because I didn’t want to look like everyone else. I was lucky to have my mom’s help. She was a seamstress at Evan Picone and used to sew all my creations. My first…

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It was in high school when Denise Magid, Vice President, Divisional Merchandise Manager of Contemporary Sportswear, knew the fashion business was for her. From designing her own prom dress to working with designers like Diane Von Furstenberg to bring the greatest mix to Saks, Magid has certainly come a long way. 

I knew I wanted to work in fashion when…
In freshman year of high school I was infatuated with the Seventies and so I designed my own bell bottoms. I also designed my own prom dress and picked out the fabric because I didn’t want to look like everyone else. I was lucky to have my mom’s help. She was a seamstress at Evan Picone and used to sew all my creations.

My first job out of college was…
In the Lord & Taylor training program.

I’m inspired by…
Diane von Furstenberg who is an icon and an inspiration to all women. I am in awe of Andrew Rosen [founder of Theory] who I think is a genius in the contemporary market — he has eye for talent.

The best thing about my job is…
Having the opportunity to nurture young talented designers and help them grow their business and reach new audiences.

My biggest challenge is…
Juggling a career that I love and being a new mom to twins.

I absolutely cannot live without my…
Celine luggage bag. It fits everything. It is a great workbag and holds all my papers and on the weekends I throw my diapers and sippy cups in there [for her twin babies!].

The best investment piece I have is…
My black leather Helmut Lang leggings I bought a few years ago. They are not my most expensive piece of clothing but I will have them forever. They fit incredibly well and literally are as comfortable on as a pair of sweats. I wear them everywhere — on the weekend with a T-shirt and sneakers and to the office and out at night with heels and a blazer. My only regret was buying only one pair! Lucky for me leather is a big trend for fall and I will definitely be buying them in a few colors.

I love contemporary fashion because…
Contemporary is all about trends, items and mixing it all up. There are no rules. It’s not about wearing a brand from head to toe. It is about finding great pieces and the versatility of the items. It’s also affordable — you can by five pieces and layer them with what you already have and you have a whole new wardrobe.

Fashion should make you feel…
Confident.

You can gain that confidence by…
Finding a great sales associate who understands your lifestyle and helps you find the items that make you feel and look your best. Personally, I have been working with Eric Sorlie in our New York Fifth Avenue Club for almost 8 years. He has helped me build my wardrobe and since we have been working together for so long he can hone in on what I need each season.

The best wardrobes are…
Built around a handful of key, well made pieces. That’s where you should splurge because they will last you a lifetime. For me it is a structured black blazer, a pair of black leather leggings, a statement fur vest, tailored black trousers, and a great leather jacket.

Some of my favorite designers are…
Phillip Lim. He is my current obsession. We just launched our new shop with him on the 5th Floor in New York. He brings high fashion at a contemporary price point and is re-defining modern luxury.

This summer, I plan to…
Go a little overboard and buy everything! I was pregnant all last summer and I am so happy to be back in my old size that a whole new wardrobe is in order.

This summer I cannot wait to…
Throw my twins Luca and Gemma a big party to celebrate them turning one on August 19th. Also, I am looking forward to spending a week in East Hampton with them and their first trip to the beach. They are going to look so cute in their floaties and little bathing suits.

 

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As Accessories Director of Saks, Elizabeth Kanfer has it in the Bag

From which handbags every woman needs in her wardrobe to her own obsession with earrings, Accessories Director Beth Kanfer speaks.  I knew I wanted to work in fashion when… I was working at a high-end department store I loved the morning meetings that were hosted by the vendors, buyers and Fashion Office. After seeing a trend presentation by a Fashion Director I was enamored. My first job out of college was… At Saks in the Public Relations and Events Office as an intern. I also went to FIT three to four nights a week. The best thing about my job is… It is very creative and entrepreneurial. Saks fosters and supports new ideas from all areas in the company. If you have the vision, they are always open to listen…

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From which handbags every woman needs in her wardrobe to her own obsession with earrings, Accessories Director Beth Kanfer speaks. 

I knew I wanted to work in fashion when…
I was working at a high-end department store I loved the morning meetings that were hosted by the vendors, buyers and Fashion Office. After seeing a trend presentation by a Fashion Director I was enamored.

My first job out of college was…
At Saks in the Public Relations and Events Office as an intern. I also went to FIT three to four nights a week.

The best thing about my job is…
It is very creative and entrepreneurial. Saks fosters and supports new ideas from all areas in the company. If you have the vision, they are always open to listen and support on how to execute a potentially industry changing idea.

When shopping for myself, I tend to…
Approach all my purchases as fashion investment pieces. Over the years I have collected some beautiful pieces.

The best thing about my wardrobe is…
A few weeks ago I pulled out a Chloe jacket from 2004 and it looked great with a new pair of Stella McCartney polka dot printed pants from Spring 2012 and yellow python Ferragamo strappy sandals from 2001.

The best investment piece I have is my…
Engagement ring. I did not purchase it, but the man who did is my investment piece.

Every woman needs to have…
A variety of bags. Life takes us so many places. A chic and tailored satchel/tote for the office, a great cross body bag for the weekends and a glitter encrusted or exotic clutch for a night out.

I get a lot of mileage out of my…
Earrings. They are always oversized, yet delicate.  I never feel dressed without a pair on.

This summer, I plan to splurge on…
More earrings!

 

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More stories featuring Elizabeth Kanfer.
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Meet the Saks Insiders

Yumi Shin is Saks’ Arbiter of Cool

Yumi Shin is quite the globetrotter. She travels for Saks six times a year and has picked up some of the greatest fashion from the runways of Paris to the streets of Antwerp. Here, we get to know Shin, our Vice President and Divisional Merchandise Manager for Saks.com a little better.  I knew I wanted to work in fashion when… As a little girl, my mother taught me how to appreciate the design and art in fashion. My first job out of college was… As a stylist for a band in Korea. I’m inspired by… My father. He taught me the importance of living my life with integrity and having a strong work ethic. The best thing about my job is… I love that I…

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Yumi Shin is quite the globetrotter. She travels for Saks six times a year and has picked up some of the greatest fashion from the runways of Paris to the streets of Antwerp. Here, we get to know Shin, our Vice President and Divisional Merchandise Manager for Saks.com a little better. 

I knew I wanted to work in fashion when…
As a little girl, my mother taught me how to appreciate the design and art in fashion.

My first job out of college was…
As a stylist for a band in Korea.

I’m inspired by…
My father. He taught me the importance of living my life with integrity and having a strong work ethic.

The best thing about my job is…
I love that I am constantly surrounded by creative people — amazing designers, but also the talented team we have at saks.com who help me bring that design to our customers.

My biggest challenge is…
Saving! I’m always on the site finding more things to buy!

I cannot live without my…
Jeweled Christopher Kane sandals — they are gorgeous to look at and so comfortable.

The best investment piece I have is my…
Hermes Medor watch — it’s a classic and I know I will have it forever.

The most exciting place I’ve visited for work was…
Antwerp — for its charm, hospitality and creative energy.

I stay on top of the trends by…
Meeting up with my friends — I manage to find inspiration and catch up with them at the same time!

This summer, I can’t wait for…
My trip to Stockholm and Copenhagen – I have wanted to go for quite some time to explore the interior design, edgy fashion and culinary cuisine.

The best fashion advice I’ve ever received was…
Know which silhouettes work for you.

 

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More stories featuring Yumi Shin.
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