FIT to Salute Saks CEO Steve Sadove at Benefit Gala; One Person, One Company, One College Make a Difference

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FIT Students Design New York Landmarks on Black Pumps Using CRYSTALLIZEDTM - Swarovski Elements

Steve Sadove, chairman and chief executive officer of Saks Fifth Avenue

In recognition of his leadership in the retail industry, Steve Sadove, chairman and chief executive officer of Saks Fifth Avenue, will be honored by the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) and FIT's Educational Foundation for the Fashion Industries at the college's annual benefit gala on Thursday, March 19, 2009, at Cipriani 42nd Street, 110 E. 42nd Street, New York City. The cocktail reception will begin at 6:30 pm, with dinner at 7:30 pm.

"One Person, One Company, One College Make A Difference" is one of the largest and most important events on the fashion industry's annual calendar. The gala benefits FIT's Educational Development Fund, which assists the college with scholarships, technology, and student services, among other priorities.

Dinner chair is Ron Frasch, president and chief merchandising officer, Saks Fifth Avenue. Journal chair is Terron Schaefer, group senior vice president, Creative and Marketing, Saks Fifth Avenue.

"Steve Sadove has long been a great advocate of education and a valued friend of FIT," said Dr. Joyce F. Brown, president of FIT. "We are fortunate to have an industry leader such as Steve recognize that FIT's students are tomorrow's industry talent and that it is, therefore, prudent and wise to ensure that they receive a top-notch education in order to infuse the fashion business with ongoing intelligence, energy, and inspiration. We are immensely appreciative of his support and proud to honor him."

"It is an honor to be recognized by FIT, whose resources and education are best in class for the talented individuals pursuing careers in fashion and retail," said Sadove. "In the current environment, it is paramount that we continue to show support for those who stand to inherit our industry by affording them opportunity and the ability to cultivate their ideas and creativity."

As a special feature of this year's gala, twenty FIT students majoring in Accessories Design have been invited to demonstrate their creativity and talent to interpret black pumps, donated by Saks, as New York landmarks, such as the Empire State Building or the Brooklyn Bridge, using CRYSTALLIZEDTM - Swarovski Elements. The shoes will be on display throughout the evening, during which guests will have the opportunity to vote on their favorite creation. The winner of the challenge will receive a $2,500 stipend, and all of the designs will be featured in 10022-SHOE, Saks Fifth Avenue's designer shoe salon.

Steve Sadove has served as a member of Saks Fifth Avenue's board of directors since 1998. He joined the Saks management team as vice chairman in 2002, became chief operating officer in 2004, and chief executive officer in 2006. He assumed his current position as chairman and chief executive officer in 2007.

Prior to joining Saks, Sadove built a distinguished marketing and consumer products career spanning more than 25 years. Between 1975 and 1991, he held various positions with General Foods USA, including executive vice president and general manager of the Desserts Division. Sadove joined Bristol-Myers Squibb Company in 1991 as president of Clairol. In the following years, he assumed positions of increasing responsibility, culminating in his appointment as president, Bristol-Myers Squibb Worldwide Beauty Care and Nutritionals. During his tenure at Bristol-Myers Squibb, Sadove led Clairol to become the number one hair care business in the United States, relaunched the Herbal Essences brand into a $700 million business, and completed the sale of the beauty care business to Procter & Gamble for approximately $5 billion.

A graduate of Hamilton College, Sadove holds an MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School. He serves on numerous community and civic boards, including the National Retail Federation, Hamilton College, A Better Chance, and Hazelden New York. He is a member of the boards of Colgate-Palmolive and Ruby Tuesday, both publicly traded companies.

Tickets for the benefit gala begin at $750 for individuals and $7,500 for tables. For information on purchasing tickets, contact The FIT Educational Foundation for the Fashion Industries at 212. 217.4100 or victoria_guranowski (at)

Members of the press who wish to cover the event should contact the Office of Communications and External Relations at 212. 217.4700 or press (at)

Saks Fifth Avenue, one of the world's preeminent specialty retailers, is renowned for its superlative American and international designer collections, its expertly edited assortment of handbags, shoes, jewelry, cosmetics, and gifts, and the first-rate fashion expertise and exemplary client service of its Associates. Today, Saks operates 53 full-line stores in 25 states, five licensed stores in the Middle East and one licensed store in Mexico City, 51 Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH stores, and, the company's
online store.

Organized in 1944, The Educational Foundation for the Fashion Industries is a private foundation that serves as an advisory and fundraising body to FIT. Its membership includes leaders from management in fashion and related industries, who also offer expertise and opportunities to students.

The Fashion Institute of Technology is a selective college of art and design, business and technology of the State University of New York, with 44 majors leading to the AAS, BFA, BS, MA, and MPS degrees. Visit


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