Fashion Industry Veteran to Be Keynote Speaker at Delta Mu Delta Induction Ceremony
April 19, 2017
The keynote speaker at LIM College’s 2017 Delta Mu Delta business honor society induction ceremony will be Shawn Outler, Senior Vice President of Lease, Pricing, and Multicultural Initiatives at Macy’s, Inc. Shawn is also a member of LIM’s Fashion Industry Advisory Board and Co-President of the Black Retail Action Group (BRAG), which has a student chapter at LIM.
Starting her career in the fashion industry 25 years ago, Shawn worked at Abraham & Straus and opened up stores at the Roosevelt Field Mall and the Manhattan Mall. She then went on to become an Assistant Buyer and a Divisional Merchandise Manager at Lord & Taylor.
Next was a position as a Divisional Merchandise Manager at Macy’s in Atlanta, after which Shawn returned to New York City to work for Macy’s as Group Vice President, Multicultural Merchandising and Vendor Development.
While in that role, Shawn and her team created The Workshop at Macy’s, a four-and-a-half day workshop for women and minority vendors who offer unique products that could make a difference in the marketplace.
According to Shawn, the workshops train vendors on what’s required to build and maintain a sustainable business with a major retail partner. Since the workshops began in 2010 they have trained over 90 companies and launched 10 of them at Macy’s.
“There are some true success stories from a vendor perspective,” says Shawn. “Urban Intimates was in our inaugural class. At that point the company was doing about 45,000 dollars a year, and now the company is valued at 40 million.”
Shawn confesses that she never imagined the level of feedback they have received from participants.
“We have a mini graduation ceremony on the final day and the tears, the participants saying how life-changing it’s been… how the workshop has changed the trajectory of their business, and how we helped them see their true potential and opportunity, has just been incredible.”
In 2014, Shawn was promoted to the position of Senior Vice President, Weddings & Gifting Strategies and Multicultural Business Development, when she was personally selected by the President, Macy’s Inc., to lead a bold new weddings merchandise and services initiative, inspired by today’s lifestyles, cultures, and trends. Shawn became the Senior Vice President of Lease, Pricing and Multicultural Initiatives in February 2016 when she was selected to lead and grow three key areas of the business, in support of the company’s aggressive omnichannel strategy.
As Co-President of BRAG, Shawn has been on the LIM campus quite often and is impressed by students’ entrepreneurial spirit, as well as the College’s focus on the business of fashion. And as a member of LIM’s Fashion Industry Advisory Board since 2012, Shawn reports, “I’m enjoying having an impact on the curriculum and how the College evolves.”
The 2017 Delta Mu Delta induction ceremony will be held on Wednesday, April 19 at 6 pm at the New York Institute of Technology.