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Industry Insider Profile: Sharon Lombardo

Sharon Lombardo is really having her moment. The Southern California girl—by way of Kate Spade, Michael Kors, and Tommy Hilfiger, that is—has taken the helm at Anne Klein, as its creative director, with the daunting yet exhilarating task of revamping and relaunching the classic American sportswear brand. So it’s a good thing that she is, by all accounts, the embodiment of the quintessential Anne Klein woman: intelligent and funny, curious and confident, down to earth and approachably stylish. She credits her West Coast upbringing with informing her laid-back aesthetic (her love of button-downs and brogues knows no bounds). However, it’s the ability to tell a personal story with clothing and accessories that’s the most compelling to her, especially in light of the task at hand. “I’m looking forward to thinking through what the modern woman needs and desires at this moment and challenging the antiquated notions of fashion and femininity. We are at the very beginning of this journey and I can’t wait to see where we end up!” —Jennifer Henderson

Name: Sharon Lombardo

Occupation: Creative director at Anne Klein. “Modern, timeless, chic sportswear will always be important and I think the brand is a standout in the industry because Anne was really a pioneer. She revolutionized American sportswear, and therefore fashion, at a time when not only were women not taken as seriously as men, but when fashion wasn’t even a ‘game’ America participated in.”

Her gypsy soul: “As early as I can remember, I was enraptured by gypsy culture: the clothing, the makeup, the music, the lifestyle. Of course, it was a naïve, glamorized vision of gypsy culture, but I thought it was fascinating and beautiful.”

Her work ethic: “I’m passionate about good work and good people and hold myself to the same standards.”

How to succeed in fashion: “Instinct, passion, hard work, unbounded creativity, risk-taking, courage, fluidity, passion. Having a strong point of view, yet being open-minded. Self- awareness.”

Her personal style: “Simple and sensual. I like classic, menswear-inspired clothing with a bit of an edge. Black pants, a silk button-front shirt, and brogues.”

Her booklist: “I’m a voracious reader. I recently read Stoner, by John Williams, and found it incredibly moving and beautiful. I also love the Neapolitan novels by Elena Ferrante. So amazing and engrossing! And Infinite Jest, by David Foster Wallace. Currently, I’m reading In Search of Lost Time, by Marcel Proust. And the memoir of Australian artist Vali Meyers.”

Her must-haves: “Pizza, my iPhone, silk button-downs, Levi’s, Spotify, headphones, perfume, amber-scented candles, a book in my bag, peace and quiet, gin and soda, sun or candlelight.”

Beauty is …: “Imperfect, interesting, warm, soft-strong, elegant.”

Her inspiration: “’70s, skateboarding, American sportswear, art, music, literature, nature (especially the beach), interior design, furniture, textiles.”

The balancing act: “I try to be present wherever I am, and content. I try to focus on the quality of my time wherever I am as opposed to the quantity. I also have great childcare and an amazing school that my son attends; an awesome housekeeper who keeps the house in order; and I order all of my groceries and household items online. My iPhone task list and reminders keep me on track and somewhat organized. If it could help me stop procrastinating then my life would be perfect.”

Best advice: “Be yourself.”

In her own words: “I try to keep things as simple as possible. I also try and remember to be grateful for all that I have and that which surrounds me while trying to learn from the challenges that constantly present themselves.”