“Brands that do well have a purpose”: Maureen Chiquet on Promoting Active and Conscious Leadership
“A lot of what women have been presented as a model is about perfection,” says Maureen Chiquet in a recent New York Times profile. Now, the author of Beyond the Label and former CEO of fashion atelier Chanel speaks about finding purpose rather than perfection.
Shortly after leaving her position at Chanel, Maureen Chiquet packed her “uniform” of tweed Chanel blazer and ripped J-Brand jeans away in the basement of her home and went shopping, coming face-to-face with garments she previously had thought couldn’t possibly define her. “It’s easy to confuse our identities with our positions, titles, or roles,” she writes in the introduction to her new book Beyond the Label: Women, Leadership, and Success on Our Own Terms. But, as she goes on to explain, from that confusion can come clarity around one’s purpose—something, that brands (as well as people) can learn from.
Recognized among Fortune’s “International Power 50,” Forbes’ “100 Most Powerful Women,” The Wall Street Journal’s “50 Women to Watch” and Glamour Magazine’s “Women of the Year,” Chiquet began her career in marketing at L’Oreal Paris in 1985. She has worked at The Gap, and helped launch and build Old Navy to $5 billion in sales within five years. She served as president of Banana Republic before becoming COO and President of US Operations of Chanel in 2003.
“I spent so long in my career operating in a masculine frame, pushing so hard to be as good as the guy next to me.”— Maureen Chiquet, The New York Times
Leaving Chanel in 2016 invited Chiquet to shift perspectives, and in talks drawing on her long and varied career in fashion and business, she offers an insightful look into leading consciously, and finding success your own way. As she says in the Times, “I spent so long in my career operating in a masculine frame, pushing so hard to be as good as the guy next to me.” In her book and in keynotes, Chiquet expands on what alternative frames can look like, and how it comes from looking at yourself—not at the guy next to you.
Find out more about Beyond the Label here.