b"more, using it foreverand really ap- You have to know who your customer is. What kind of car do they drive? preciatingit.ThatssustainabilityinWhere do they go on vacation? Where do they live? What are their hobbies? a nutshell. Of course, passing downNguyen credits Barneys with carrying designers even if they were not best-your well-worn items is only possibleselling. Some designers just will not sell as quickly, she says, but they are ifthoseitemsareexceedinglywell- meaningful to the total.made in the first place.From runways to factories, Nguyens desire to start her own business grew. I Nguyen has spent her career striv- think Ive had a business in me for a long time, she says. I grew up in a pretty ing to get at the essence of what makesentrepreneurial family, and this is something thats always been in the back of aproducttop-notch.Shebeganhermy mind. career at Macys, starting in their cel- She calls her parents formidable people, who had been forced to flee their na-ebrated,rigorousexecutivetrainingtive Vietnam for a challenging life in America. program. After a few years, the luxuryHence they had encouraged her to department store Barneys was hiring.work hard and focus on finding Nguyen was captivatednot just be- opportunities. It is why part cause it was a luxury beautiful store,of her proceeds go to the but it had always been known to beInternationalRescue a great purveyor of products, she re- Nguyen styles a friendKatherinefor aCommittee,anor-calls, adding, They were quirky. Theyphoto shoot in New York City. ganizationfocused had a real indie sensibility, and theyonprovidinghelp hadaveryrespectedlabelthattheypany. That was so fortunate for me,to refugees. A lot of built from scratch.she says of this period. He is Barneysstrangershelpedus In addition to her desire to learnson,andhewasahumblevisionaryontheway,shere-more about Barneys' process of actu- who created a lot of things in the retailcalls. I dont feel that ally making its stock in trade, Nguyenspace and came up with a lot of uniqueisthecaserightnow. wasalsoirresistiblyattractedtotheideas that became mainstream.Nguyen praises the IRC for its companyscommitmenttoearnestPressman was tireless in teachingworkhelpingfamilies,especially eccentricity.Atthetime,itwasstillhis salespeople to approach the prod- women and children, as they navigate afamily-ownedbusiness,andsheuctsandcustomerswithacaptivat- the realities of being a refugee, callingNguyen has an affinity for the colorworkedcloselywithFredPressman,ing narrative, insisting they be on theit a wonderful organization. yellow, believing it to represent optimism. Pictured here is the Sutherland Super therespectedpatriarchofthecom- floor getting to know their shoppers.AfterdecadesworkingforiconicGeelong V-Neck Sweater.Morristown-Beard Schoolfeature story /43"