Career Code: Andrea Lieberman's Advice for a More Effective Work Life
In honor of Hillary Kerr and Katherine Power’s upcoming book, The Career Code: Must-Know Rules for a Strategic, Stylish, and Self-Made Career ($17), we’re kicking off an interview series featuring 17 questions (in honor of the book's 17 chapters) about the work lives of the most inspirational female leaders in the fashion industry. We tapped Rebecca Minkoff and Lauren Conrad. Up next? A.L.C.’s Andrea Lieberman.
Gigi Hadid, Jessica Alba, Miranda Kerr, Kate Bosworth, and Olivia Palermo have all worn her line. We’d continue to list the celebrity fan club, but we’d be here for a while. She put Jennifer Lopez in that down-to-there green Versace dress—you know the one that inspired the creation of Google Images? She had a retail store in New York called Culture and Reality with a cult celebrity following. In short, Andrea Lieberman has conquered the fashion world from practically every angle, which is why we were beyond thrilled she agreed to be part of our Career Code series.
Scroll down for Lieberman’s sage advice, covering everything from the number one quality she looks for when hiring to how to graciously quit a job.
"I oversee the creative aspects of all things A.L.C., from the conceptualization and execution of seven collections a year to our digital and overall branding."
"Every aspect of the process is so interrelated. From positioning to sourcing to sell-through, it all affects the creative decisions and direction overall. It is essential to always maintain a bird’s-eye view."
"My first job was in high school at a store called Style Counsel in SoHo. I am pretty sure I showed up in Doc Martens, black pants with a homemade bum-flap that I sewed on myself, and a deep-navy dyed, half-shaved head."
"Angela Ahrendts (SVP of retail and online stores at Apple), because of her undeniable strength as a leader and her ability to engage both her organization and the community at large. She inspires, motivates, and is fiercely intuitive."
"I read Business of Fashion and WWD religiously."
"There isn’t anything I have regretted. There have been things that have not worked out, but I think those experiences and the lessons that come from the upsets are just as valuable as the successes. I try to always look forward, not backward."
1. Being proactive.
2. Insanely organized.
3. Beyond motivated.
4. Has the right chemistry.
5. Above all, I look for someone who is inspired.
"I think if you asked anyone who works at A.L.C. or who has worked for me in the past, they would say that while I have high expectations, I never demand more than I am willing to give myself."
"I take a moment to myself or with the kids. Go to yoga or on a hike. Walk around the block. I find a bit of fresh air generally leads to a fresh perspective."
"I keep it light at lunch. I usually opt for soup, or if we are feeling a bit decadent at the office, we will order in from Sugarfish."
"The best way to quit a job is with integrity. Be sure to think about your employer and their needs, in addition to your own. Depending on your position, allow the appropriate notice and offer up solutions on how to not leave your company high and dry in your absence. Being a part of a company is a mutual investment, and I think both sides should act respectfully."
"Being shortsighted. I am a big believer that opportunity is what you make of it. Embrace the experience, and learn everything you can. Think about the future in the moment."
1. @idea.ltd: I have an extensive library and am always able to discover great finds through their feed.
2. @bessnyc4: I appreciate that they push the envelope and that there is always a layer of humor.
3. @newyorkermag: I am a native New Yorker and have read the publication since I was young. I think they do a phenomenal job bringing the editorials to life. I always end up clicking through to the stories.
4. @tasteofstreep: Because how can you not?
5. @superhelder: The feed is so visually stimulating.
"I drop my kids off at the school bus every morning. I love that it gives me quality time with them and also gets me to the office before everyone. Having that hour or so to clear my head and mark up my daily priorities is crucial for me. Late evening, when the kids are asleep and the whole house is quiet, is my creative time. I find I do my best sketching and research then."
"If something can go wrong, it most likely will. Always look around the corner, and be prepared for any situation."
"Launching A.L.C. digital!"
If you could ask Andrea Lieberman one question, what would it be? Let us know in the comments below!