VMSD - August 2017 - 84

Checking Out
Interview by Steve Kaufman

Kathryn Largent
What generated your interest in
retailing?
Growing up, I had part-time jobs at Liberty House
in Hawaii and The Broadway in Southern California.
And I always wanted to do windows. My big goal
was to do Macy's windows on 34th Street in New
York during the holidays.

California, we lived within a mile of Quiksilver's
headquarters in Huntington Beach - the place to
work when I was a kid. I applied for a job, had a
few interviews but just couldn't find the right fit. It
took two years of constant contact with the human
resources person, but they finally found a spot for
me, focusing on branding.

How did that goal take shape?
I was working through college in a restaurant in
Long Beach and became friendly with a customer
who had just started a company making surf accessories. He offered me a job managing his trade
show activities. Within 36 months, I was national
sales manager, flying all over the country, selling to
big accounts, hiring distributors and designing his
booths for all the trade shows we went to. I never
finished college.

What led you to Skechers?
The recession hit in 2009. My entire department at
Quiksilver was dissolved. I was drawn to Skechers.
I knew I wanted to work with this powerhouse of a
brand. Again, nearly two years until Skechers hired
me as manager of in-store design. Within 90 days, I
was promoted to director of global visual merchandising. We created more than 700 pieces of point-ofpurchase items offered around the globe.

And you were off and running in retail?
Not quite. I traded my professional life to start a family. My husband was offered a job in Portland, Ore.
We lived in the Northwest for seven years and had
three children.
Where the "34th Street windows dream"
died?
No, just put on hold. When we moved back to

84

august 2017

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vmsd.com

Until brick-and-mortar died.
I think the "brick-and-mortar is dead" argument is
a little over-dramatic. I believe e-commerce does
drive business to the stores. But it cannot provide
an in-store experience. If people are going to take
the time to drive to your store, you have to give
them something they can't get online - a sharable
moment that makes a connection. I like the idea of
using local materials or local references. 

The Chaos
Theory
You once took a
pay cut to leave
a managerial
position at a major
corporation to go to
work in retail. Why?
Some people work better in
chaos, and I'm one of them. I
perform better. When things are
the same every single day, I get
bored easily and lose interest.
It's just not as exciting. I like the
excitement of retail.

H EA DSH OT: R IC HA RD PO DguR S kI , MA nHATTAn BE AC H, C AlIf. ; PR Oj E C T P H O T O : k En T M Il lE R , n E w Y O R k

Skechers' global director of visual merchandising believes the
obituary for bricks-and-mortar is premature. Shoppers want to
shop in stores, even if just to find that "sharable moment."


http://www.vmsd.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of VMSD - August 2017

VMSD- August 2017
Contents
From the Editor
VMSD Editorial Advisory Board
The Goods
Next Store
Best Dressed
The Sounds of Music
Come Together
The Feeling of Fresh
The Spirit of New Orleans
Showroom
Showroom
Ad Index
Checking Out
VMSD - August 2017 - Intro
VMSD - August 2017 - VMSD- August 2017
VMSD - August 2017 - Cover2
VMSD - August 2017 - 1
VMSD - August 2017 - Contents
VMSD - August 2017 - 3
VMSD - August 2017 - From the Editor
VMSD - August 2017 - 5
VMSD - August 2017 - VMSD Editorial Advisory Board
VMSD - August 2017 - 7
VMSD - August 2017 - The Goods
VMSD - August 2017 - T1
VMSD - August 2017 - T2
VMSD - August 2017 - T3
VMSD - August 2017 - T4
VMSD - August 2017 - T5
VMSD - August 2017 - T6
VMSD - August 2017 - T7
VMSD - August 2017 - T8
VMSD - August 2017 - 9
VMSD - August 2017 - 10
VMSD - August 2017 - 11
VMSD - August 2017 - 12
VMSD - August 2017 - 13
VMSD - August 2017 - Next Store
VMSD - August 2017 - 15
VMSD - August 2017 - Best Dressed
VMSD - August 2017 - 17
VMSD - August 2017 - 18
VMSD - August 2017 - 19
VMSD - August 2017 - 20
VMSD - August 2017 - 21
VMSD - August 2017 - 22
VMSD - August 2017 - 23
VMSD - August 2017 - 24
VMSD - August 2017 - The Sounds of Music
VMSD - August 2017 - 26
VMSD - August 2017 - 27
VMSD - August 2017 - Come Together
VMSD - August 2017 - 29
VMSD - August 2017 - 30
VMSD - August 2017 - 31
VMSD - August 2017 - 32
VMSD - August 2017 - 33
VMSD - August 2017 - The Feeling of Fresh
VMSD - August 2017 - 35
VMSD - August 2017 - 36
VMSD - August 2017 - 37
VMSD - August 2017 - 38
VMSD - August 2017 - 39
VMSD - August 2017 - The Spirit of New Orleans
VMSD - August 2017 - 41
VMSD - August 2017 - 42
VMSD - August 2017 - 43
VMSD - August 2017 - 44
VMSD - August 2017 - 45
VMSD - August 2017 - 46
VMSD - August 2017 - 47
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VMSD - August 2017 - 70
VMSD - August 2017 - 71
VMSD - August 2017 - 72
VMSD - August 2017 - 73
VMSD - August 2017 - Showroom
VMSD - August 2017 - 75
VMSD - August 2017 - 76
VMSD - August 2017 - 77
VMSD - August 2017 - Showroom
VMSD - August 2017 - 79
VMSD - August 2017 - 80
VMSD - August 2017 - 81
VMSD - August 2017 - Ad Index
VMSD - August 2017 - 83
VMSD - August 2017 - Checking Out
VMSD - August 2017 - Cover3
VMSD - August 2017 - Cover4
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