Fashion Forward - Steven Goldsmith - Creating Luck from "Hard Work and Opportunity"

Steven Goldsmith, B.A.’88

Creating Luck from “Hard Work and Opportunity”

By Carol Olechowski

Steven Goldsmith, executive vice-president of Merchandising, Apparel & Accessories at Sears Canada

Some people believe that we make our own luck. Steven Goldsmith doesn’t. “I think luck is a mixture of hard work and opportunity,” says the Brooklyn, N.Y., native. Judging by Goldsmith’s career success, he’s right. His plans to attend graduate school and become a clinical psychologist after earning a bachelor’s in psychology “all changed when I worked my junior and senior years at American Eagle Outfitters in Crossgates Mall. The fashion/retail bug bit me.

“Everything about my experience at Albany prepared me for my career,” remembers the former WCDB sportscaster and Student Association Central Council member, who lived at Colonial Quad for two years before moving off campus. “The life lessons, combined with student life, prepared me for the many strategies and tactics I still employ to this day in my current role.”

Through the Career Services Center, “I interviewed on campus with Lord & Taylor Department Stores in New York City and got into the executive training program to become a buyer. I held positions at Lord & Taylor, then Filene’s, then Foley’s, then Bon Ton and was lucky enough to go up the ranks quickly,” recalls Goldsmith, who also numbers ShopNBC; Smartbargains (now Rue La La); Amazon; and Limited Brands (Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works) among his former employers.

Goldsmith is now executive vice-president of Merchandising, Apparel & Accessories at Sears Canada – “the largest department store in the country and my first venture outside the United States. When I was at Limited Brands, I discovered how much opportunity there was in Canada.” Goldsmith points out that Sears Canada is more akin to Macy’s and “serves a different customer base than Sears in the U.S. Whereas I was a leading steward of a great brand, Victoria’s Secret, Sears Canada provides me the opportunity to be both author and steward.”

Since joining Sears Canada last July, Goldsmith has found that learning a new culture “is challenging but, at the same time, very exciting. Canada is essentially a hybrid of the U.S., England and France all wrapped together.

“I’ve been blessed,” he adds. “I’m always very appreciative and humbled by all the opportunities that present themselves. I love my career. If I could do this all over again, I would be a retailer. I would encourage UAlbany students to enter retail. Although the landscape continues to evolve in a multi-channel way, it also continues to grow.”

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