Each day in June, FN is highlighting female forces in the industry as part of our Women in Power series.
Here, Daianara Grullon Amalfitano, SVP of the Aldo brand, reflects on the importance of collaboration and how the industry is changing for the better.
What was the biggest breakthrough moment in your career?
“Joining Aldo Group was definitely a monumental moment in my career — although I wouldn’t be in my current position without my previous experience at Steve Madden. While there I led the development of an Influencer x Steve Madden capsule program, partnering with international influencers such as Chiara Ferragni from The Blonde Salad. I also built licensed brand collections for Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, Material Girl and Juicy Couture International. That experience gave me exposure to other brands, but I also learned what it takes to develop and launch labels in international markets and to translate someone’s vision. The best part was watching my team grow and develop rapidly. It was an exciting time where we all felt empowered, inspired and unstoppable.”
Is there anything you would have done differently?
“In hindsight, I would’ve managed across peers differently. I think it’s something we don’t talk about enough. Leaders speak about managing up or managing down, but I strongly believe managing across peers is just as valuable. It could be easy for large companies to end up working in silos. Today at Aldo, I focus heavily on collaboration and inclusiveness across my peers. Once you identify your common purpose, it becomes easier to align and drive toward the same goals together.”
Do you think women do enough to support each other in the workplace?
“I will be honest: When I first started in the industry over 20 years ago, it was heavily male-dominated. Today, I definitely think it is improving, but we are not yet there.
However, I am proud to work for a company where the role of women in the industry is top-of-mind. In 2016, within The Aldo Group, 67 percent of Aldo global workforce and 65 percent of management were female. Our CEO, David Bensadoun, approaches this topic with a firm value of love and respect, regardless of people’s race, religion, sexual orientation and gender identification.”
What is the biggest challenge you faced in the last year?
“Most people assume the biggest challenge was moving from New York City to Montreal. The truth is, the move was pretty easy. Montreal reminds me a lot of Brooklyn. I am thrilled about this career move and new challenge. The Aldo Group is an innovative and creative key player in the business.”
Looking back, what advice would you give to your younger self?
“Be present and enjoy the moment. There are too many times when I was so busy looking ahead and planning for the next steps that I didn’t enjoy the here and now.”