Sonia wakes up every day smiling grateful to be doing what she loves. As Executive Vice President of Vince Camuto Canada and her other fashion brands, she is responsible for the buying, sales, the growth and development of her company’s brands in the Canadian marketplace. The fashion industry is ever changing and completely in sync with her personality. Never a dull moment, never a month without traveling to preview new collections, and always the most fantastic people to work with along the way…
Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
As Executive Vince President of Vince Camuto Canada and our other licensed brands, my job is never the same from one day to the next. I am constantly travelling to preview new collections in our New York office and attend trade shows in Las Vegas, Milan, New York and across Canada to showcase our latest collections. I manage our major accounts, sales reps, develop our marketing, sales and PR initiatives. I am always on the lookout for the next new brand, and constantly develop our Vince Camuto business to span more product categories, from footwear, handbags, apparel and dresses, to upcoming men’s wear
Why did you start working at your company?
I was raised in the fashion industry. At the age of nine years old, when my father used to own Guess Jeans in Canada, I used to go straight from school to the office. I was groomed in this industry from order entry to customer service to sales, buying and now managing. I learnt from the ground up in this business and now get to select the trendiest brands in the marketplace to license in Canada.
What was the inspiration for this career route?
My family. I am so blessed to be able to build a family business with my father and uncle and know that through our hard work and determination we are growing a business for our employees and our own families.
What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis?
My daily tasks are ever-changing, I work with my family and with an amazing team and my passion is to develop brands and make them as known and successful across Canada across all commodities. I love building a brand and watch it grow from inception to global recognition.
The most challenging part?
My to do list never ends, when I meet one deadline the next one is around the corner; fashion weeks, market weeks, trade shows all involve hopping on a plane almost every second week. But let’s be honest… I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
A bad ass mom, step-mom, amazing wife, best friend, a great daughter and a business woman managing our incredibly successful brand and juggling it all in high heels.
What does success look like to you?
Looking back or looking forward and either way not wanting to change a single thing. Success to me is not a destination but rather enjoying every step of the journey.
What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
On stage, Scottsdale Arizona, giving a speech to 200 business owners on how to live your best life and follow your heart, and realising that this speech wasn’t for the crowd but this time it was for me. I realised that my heart belonged in Montreal running my business so that next day I was on the next flight home.
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
I love speaking to students who aspire to get in the fashion industry, and I constantly interview professionals who are looking for a great opportunity in this business and my best advice to get into this industry is to intern and gain as much experience in this filed as you can. The Canadian fashion industry is so small, so meet the influencers in this field, work your way to the top, and constantly educate yourself on the hottest brands, the changing markets, blogs, social media and upcoming trends.
Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
Children’s Hospital, CJA, Cedar Cancer, Jewish General Hospital, Mada, Maison Shalom for abused women.
What to you is notable?
Loyalty, authenticity, consistency, integrity, competence, humility, and staying true to oneself, no matter the success or failure.
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