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  • Sal: Well, I just wanted to introduce everyone

  • to Angela Ahrendts.

  • Just as a little bit of background

  • on how all of this happened.

  • You all know I was just in England two weeks ago,

  • and as part of that, you came to the talk

  • at the London School of Economics.

  • And then the next day we met at Heathrow Airport.

  • Angela: Yup.

  • Sal: I had my $6 Old Navy shirt feeling very insecured

  • the entire time. (Angela laughs)

  • Both Esther and I were there, and you inspired us

  • when you said you're going to be in this area

  • we're like, well, we would love you to do

  • the same thing with the team.

  • Just talk about what you're doing etc, etc.

  • If you could talk a little bit about just how you...

  • I mean, fashion, the world of fashion, is this world...

  • I mean, it's not obvious to most people

  • how does someone get in to it,

  • and especially get to the level that you've gotten.

  • How did you start, and what kind of...

  • at least at the early stages, allowed you to get here?

  • Angela: I mean, honestly, it's not a dissimilar story

  • to yours, right?

  • My thing is, you...

  • I think the greatest thing that anybody can do

  • when they're young is discover their passion

  • and what they love.

  • I know it sounds really, really terrible,

  • but I love stuff, and I love to shop,

  • and I love fashion magazines, and I love to sew and create.

  • It was the only industry I had to get in to,

  • but I went to university

  • and signed up for all these design classes,

  • and realized I really wasn't that creative.

  • But I had a really strong opinion

  • on what everybody else was doing.

  • I had a professor say that, "we call you a merchant."

  • I'm like, "Okay," and so then I signed up

  • for a lot of merchandising and marketing courses.

  • So my university degree is in merchandising and marketing.

  • In the world of what we do, I always say

  • I'm the monkey in the middle.

  • We have Christopher Bailey who's the chief creative officer,

  • and he is so creative and so brilliant,

  • and his whole creative team does all those videos.

  • But then, and so that's on my right,

  • and on my left, we have the chief financial officer,

  • we have our chief operating officer,

  • we have a number of our teams

  • that have just arrived as well.

  • You have this balance so I will say I'm a 50, 50.

  • I am half left brain analytical,

  • I am half right brain creative,

  • and that was actually one of the reasons

  • that I wanted to chat with Sal.

  • Because I said, "Someday, as you guys

  • start to take over the world,

  • you're going to have to also

  • start to introduce some right brain curriculum.

  • And the Burberry Foundation would be honored

  • to help you start creating some of those things

  • when you're already down the road out there."

  • Sal: Yeah, and now we're already starting a little bit,

  • and we could talk more about that.

  • No, absolutely, and I think ...

  • I mean, say you're not creative,

  • I mean that, I think you're really underselling your

  • Angela: Yeah, the design creative.

  • Sal: But you obviously had a very strong aesthetic,

  • you had a sense for what connective

  • Angela: Yeah, again I'm absolutely a merchant,

  • and I will tell you the reason Christopher and I

  • created the foundation is this,

  • because we are both creative thinkers.

  • Sal: Right.

  • Angela: We feel very strongly that the curriculum

  • specifically in America has become so left brain,

  • so much of the arts and things have been cut out.

  • But it is... I think for where the world's going

  • we need creative thinkers.

  • We need... and so many times they're getting lost

  • out of the system, so we created the Burberry Foundation.

  • We give 1% of our profits into the Burberry Foundation,

  • and what we do is, we try and pick up the youth

  • that is starting to fall out of the system

  • because they think they're dumb, because they don't.

  • Hopefully, we can help turn them on to you guys

  • to help them.

  • If they're still just not left brain

  • but they're incredibly creative thinking.

  • We bring as many of them as we can.

  • We show them a whole another world

  • that companies like us need,

  • and that's been our calling.

  • Sal: Yeah, I know it's incredible.

  • I mean, you yourself, you said,

  • "Okay I'll be a merchant."

  • A professor tells you this,

  • and you just go to New York,

  • and then you're not even 30,

  • and you're the president of Donna Karan?

  • (Angela laughs) Is that right?

  • Angela: Yeah.

  • Sal: How does that happen?

  • Is that normal?

  • Are there a lot of 20 something's

  • running a major fashion houses in the world?

  • Angela: Probably not, and I will tell you I'm really guilty

  • because I'm not great talking about myself.

  • I'm just not. Because I'm only as good always

  • as the great teams that are around me,

  • and no different than you guys.

  • Yes, I think what happens always

  • is when you discover who you are,

  • and you discover your passion,

  • and then it's not work at your life,

  • and so you just get in to that zone.

  • I was so fortunate that I met the right people,

  • things fell into place,

  • absolutely worked my butt off because I was single,

  • alone in New York, and why not.

  • It's all I did was.... But I found my zone, I found

  • Sal: Was there a moment where

  • I just find if a member of my family says "Hey,

  • I'm going to go to New York,

  • and I'm going to go work in fashion."

  • Like, "Okay, I'll see if I can help support you

  • at some point or…"

  • Just the left brain, the left brain side of me.

  • I mean, how did you break in

  • and then obviously left such a big mark with people

  • that by the time, you weren't even 30,

  • you're a president of a major fashion organization?

  • Angela: It's funny, I don't think of any different

  • than a great athlete, or a musician, or a…

  • I think that what happens

  • is this is all what I've ever done.

  • I've always just stayed in my lane,

  • and then you become ...

  • Whether you're a footballer or whether you're ...

  • I didn't jump around, this is all that I've done,

  • and I have always been so passionate about it.

  • I think when you direct your energy,

  • and you become so passionate,

  • and you unite people, right?

  • You lead people all around believing in something,

  • and then things just fall into place.

  • I know that, and when I say things,

  • the revenue, the profit, right?

  • I never went in saying, "I'm going to do this."

  • I went in saying, "What if we did this?"

  • I've always been a dreamer.

  • My father used to always say,

  • "Take off your rose-colored of glasses."

  • and I would always say "No."

  • Now I don't have to, I can keep dreaming,

  • but the important thing I've learned is though,

  • I have to get enough people, right?

  • I have to surround myself with enough people

  • that can help execute that dream now.

  • And that's all that I've ever done.

  • I don't want to over simplify it,

  • but I found my zone,

  • I absolutely love what I do,

  • it is not work at all.

  • I have never once woke up in the morning said,

  • "Oh God, I got to go to work."

  • It's not work, this is my life.

  • Everywhere that I've been...

  • because it's not work,

  • and the Monterey at Burberry

  • or anywhere that I've been

  • because the stronger companies get,

  • then the more they can do,

  • and the bigger influence they have.

  • At Burberry, we've always said

  • that, we have the power to touch and transform lives

  • through the power of our performance.

  • The bigger and the stronger we get,

  • the more we can do,

  • and that's just always been...

  • I'm from the heart of Midwest,

  • real strong family faith upbringing,

  • and I have been raised to give.

  • That's how I was raised,

  • and so why wouldn't you apply that back in business?

  • And so it just...

  • Sal: I think you are underselling yourself a little bit. But I'll give you a pass on that.

  • Angela: Thank you.

  • But I do want... Because the interesting thing about this

  • and why we video them is I think

  • just the Khan Academy user base,

  • there's a lot of young people out there

  • who would say, "How do I do that?"

  • If you had advice for someone who's 16 years old

  • or 20 years old, and they find this world intriguing,

  • what should they develop in themselves?

  • How should they think about the world?

  • And what should they do?

  • Angela: Well, and I always say

  • that the fashion industry is deceiving

  • because everybody just thinks it's only this creative part.

  • Where in a company like Burberry,

  • there are 18 different departments

  • that comprise the company.

  • We need, we hire a lot of people from Silicon Valley.

  • We need great... We have 130 people

  • just in the IT department in the company.

  • People don't realize that so we need extreme right,

  • and we need extreme left.

  • I think sometimes the fashion industry gets a short,

  • it's the short stick sometimes when they think

  • "It's just fashion, it's just..."

  • In order to create... And here's my thing.

  • I always say that what we're doing

  • is we're creating a great brand and a great company,

  • and we happen to be in the business of fashion.

  • We didn't set out to create a really great fashion,

  • we set out to create a great brand.

  • I say that because there's a part of me that says,

  • "That is your mission as well."

  • Sal: I mean, following on that,

  • I do want to think about...

  • Well, what in your mind is... what does a brand mean?

  • I've heard multiple definitions of a brand,

  • and how would you view Burberry's brand?

  • And how would you view our brand? In the same...

  • they're very similar.

  • (Angela laughing)

  • Exploring a line of overcoats.

  • Angela: To me, a great brand... And here's my thing.

  • Think of yourself and when you interact with products.

  • What coffee do you drink every morning,

  • or you might walk into Starbucks,

  • or you might walk in to...

  • You might have Apple products, you might...

  • How do you feel about..

  • And so you want to be a part of that brand

  • because you're proud to be a part of that brand,

  • because that brand makes you feel a certain way.

  • You trust that brand, and it's authentic,

  • and it doesn't ever let you down.

  • It exceeds your expectations

  • so you want to engage with it, right?

  • Those are all of the attributes of a great brand,

  • honesty, integrity, authenticity, quality,

  • but always doing what yo

  • To have a great engagement, or what's the word ...