Senior Vice President of Mechandising, Americas
HUGO BOSS Fashions Inc.
New York, N.Y.
Kenny Anderson personifies the expression, “You can do anything you put your mind to.” He’s the senior vice president of merchandising, Americas, at luxury apparel makers HUGO BOSS Fashions Inc. of Germany. “There are two important parts of my role: visual merchandising — ensuring the product is well presented in store — and the most critical part — buying strong collections that inspire people,” he says.
Anderson focuses on the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Brazil, and oversees their merchandising accordingly. His successful career began with his attainment of a college degree. A graduate of Michigan State University, he was the first in his family to graduate from college. It was a rough beginning to start, however. Initially, academics were a struggle. “I was in the fourth grade when my teacher told me I would never succeed due to my delayed development,” he recalls. Using this as motivation, he attacked his education aggressively, with purpose, determination, and family support, even growing to enjoy math. His favorite: trigonometry.
Through this difficult experience he learned how to push through adversity, but also realized how much influence adults can have over young minds. As a result, he chooses his words very carefully when addressing the youth he mentors.
Anderson began his professional journey as senior business analyst at Marshall Field’s, the Chicago-based department store, prior to moving up the ranks to his current position at HUGO BOSS. “The psychological aspect is what appealed to me about fashion merchandising. Why do people buy luxury produts? Outside of price, what causes them to put something back on the shelf?” he says.
Anderson works with college students through Michigan State’s marketing program, and with children from NY Cares. “We do art and fashion activities with the kids,” he says of his involvement with P.S. 190 in Brooklyn, N.Y. He is particularly passionate about mentoring students in managing money to avoid college debt.