By Brandon Clack, Staff Writer
Scott Saltzman is a sales manager for Puma Select in New York City. Despite having a busy career, Saltzman comes back to Oneonta each semester to speak to Fashion and textiles students about his journey of getting his feet in the door of the industry and offering tips to people who are interested in pursuing a career in fashion. While he normally does presentations and shows, this time he offered more of an informal conversation to meet fashion students. At the end of the conversation, he offered a Q+A to answer any questions students had.
1. When do you know it’s time to shift gears with your job?
Scott Saltzman: It has everything to do with the workplace. I previously mentioned that I was fortunate enough to work for companies during their prime years. This is because hot brands came and went. Most brands were hot for a year or two, then they went. I also never worked for a brand I didn’t believe in.
2. What are ways for students to branch out and build networks?
Scott Saltzman: My biggest recommendation is reaching out to alumni. Nowadays, it’s easier to get in touch with alumni because of avenues like LinkedIn, which is how they found me. Make sure to focus on quality when networking so you can leave a good impression on people.
3. Did you ever fear not obtaining success? What do you recommend for getting a sense of direction for someone graduating in the near future?
Scott Saltzman: Back in the 80s, everything was Wall Street. I didn’t want an arrogant life. This was a time when you would circle jobs in the New York Times to find them. I kept on looking until something hit. Sometimes a job may not be exactly what you’re looking for, but it can be a step in the right direction. A way you could get a head start is with alumni.
4. How often do you travel for your job if you do at all?
Scott Saltzman: I used to travel often before COVID. I would travel to Germany, Miami, Chicago, Boston, New Orleans, and Vegas. Travel budgets were the first thing cut during COVID, and we have platforms like Teams and Zoom, so I tend to travel twice a year now. I still see my peers who work for Adidas, Nike, New Balance, and Timberland. However, staying in-store is typically the best thing for sales because it’s necessary for customers to know you care about the business. Some buyers haven’t been on the floor in years and work remotely.
5. What was your favorite collaboration?
Scott Saltzman: I have two favorite collaborations. The first one is the collaboration with Bape. They sold footwear, along with hoodies, jackets, bags, hats, etc. It was shown in Long Beach, and everyone came in and bought it. With the number of items they had, it could only be sold exclusively in fifteen stores around the country. The second collaboration is Rihanna’s first Puma collaboration. The young customer doesn’t appreciate who Rihanna was in 2014, but she was all the rage during that time, and the first collaboration was a success.
6. How does the collaboration process go?
Scott Saltzman: It’s like a party mix, they like who’s hot, whether it be actors, actresses, singers, etc. A team does this, and the information goes back to Puma. Typically though, they aim for young Hollywood because it gets the younger person hooked on Puma. We’ve collaborated with people like Caleb McLaughlin from Stranger Things, Angus Cloud and Maude Apatow from Euphoria, and many others. They gather information from those who really resonate with the youth. They also like upcoming artists because it’s beneficial for both parties since it gives both parties a platform.
7. How does the shadowing process go?
Scott Saltzman: I’m on a committee with Puma and I show what I do with Oneonta. Get in touch with me! It’s informal but I can take you to see stores and the showroom. You can also use me as a reference on your resume!