Sunny Diego, a abundant admired men’s abrasion merchant who spent the aggregate of her career at Saks Fifth Avenue, has died at the age of 51.
Diego died Thursday at Canonizing Sloan Kettering, breadth she was actuality advised for abdomen cancer. Her sister, Suzy Kim, said she anesthetized abroad “beautifully and affably at MSK amidst by so abundant love. They advised her like a bedrock star.”
Diego was built-in in Seoul, South Korea, and aloft in Colorado. She accustomed an MBA from the University of Chicago afore starting her career in retail at Saks in 1994. Her aboriginal assignment with the abundance lasted 18 years and she captivated a array of positions, including appearance administrator of women’s footwear, accessories, adornment and affectionate accoutrement as able-bodied as men’s appearance director. She was additionally a client of women’s footwear, men’s accessories and men’s artist accouterment and had been carnality admiral and bounded commodity administrator of artefact development for the men’s breadth aback she larboard the abundance in 2012. While in the artefact development area, Diego is accustomed with allowance to barrage Saks’ men’s collection.
In 2012, she abutting LF USA, the U.S. analysis of Li & Fung, as arch carnality admiral of affairs in the men’s division, breadth she oversaw clandestine brands as able-bodied as accountant brands including Nautica, Dockers, Ben Sherman and Geoffrey Beene.
Two years later, she abutting Lividini & Co., a cast assurance and accessible relations firm, as arch merchant. But she was absorbed aback to Saks seven months afterwards as carnality admiral and dmm of artist and abreast men’s wear, a role she captivated until her death.
“Sunny was a long-beloved affiliate of the Saks ancestors and our merchant organization,” said Tracy Margolies, arch merchant for Saks. “Those who had the advantage of alive with her were advantageous to acquaintance her angry attitude, caring nature, adherence and backbone — and her actual adulation of fashion. Her affection for the industry was communicable to anybody from her Saks aggregation to our bell-ringer partners. She was an afflatus to us all, and her absurd bequest will abide to alive on both at Saks and beyond the industry. We will abundantly absence her.”
Louis DiGiacomo, accepted commodity administrator of men’s abrasion for Saks, added: “It was an account to accept accepted Sunny for 25 years. She was a caring, admirable being who bedevilled amazing energy, passion, adherence and, best of all, generosity. Sunny was added than a aide or friend, she was family. Like so abounding who were advantageous to be allotment of her life, I will absence my sister.”
Tommy Fazio, appearance administrator of NuOrder, said: “My affection is burst with the accident of such a admirable soul. Sunny brought so abundant joy and adulation to not alone me, but the accomplished industry. She helped so abounding bodies and gave so abundant of herself to our business. I’m absolutely activity to absence her sparkle.”
Tom Ott, architect of Retail and Appearance Solutions, and a 24-year adept of Saks, said: “Sunny was a affectionate and caring person. She admired teamwork and ambulatory a accumulation to drive initiatives. She was ‘fashion’ at Saks and was consistently a pioneer, award new arising designers. She was one who consistently was up for a new assignment active the Saks Fifth Avenue men’s accumulating on the archetypal end to accession Saks men’s as the destination for designer. We absence her already and will consistently bethink her passion.”
Jaqui Lividini, arch controlling administrator of Lividini & Co., said: “Sunny was the absolute name for the woman who brought so abundant ablaze and positivity into our world. Sunny had it all, awful intelligent, absurd taste, superwoman strength, agreeable personality and abundant adorableness in both anatomy and soul. Best chiefly she was a angry and loyal acquaintance and adherent mother. There are those bodies that you accept the advantage to apperceive in your activity that aloof float aloft the rest. That was Sunny — in a alliance of her own.”
Designer Mike Amiri said: “Sunny had the arresting adeptness to not alone admit arising talent, but to advance a accord of accord and assurance to admonition breeding that talent. She was the animated ablaze in every allowance and a accurate bedrock star. The industry has absent one of its best absorbing and amorous leaders.”
Eric Jennings, who formed with Diego at Saks aback he served as men’s appearance administrator for the retailer, said: “Sunny Diego was a force of attributes and lit up every allowance she entered. I saw this immediate because I had the advantage of alive ancillary by ancillary with her for about 10 years at Saks Fifth Avenue. We alleged anniversary added ‘work husband’ and ‘work wife’ because of the abounding hours we spent calm in the office, visiting artist showrooms, and traveling common for business. From rustic mills in Scotland to red-carpet galas in Seoul, Sunny consistently dressed glamorously and was accessible to do business.
“I admired her for her absolute honesty, faculty of humor, and angry loyalty. Sunny fabricated an enduring consequence wherever she went. Best importantly, Sunny was a adherent mother. Aback she brought her babe to barter shows, Sunny fabricated abiding her babe had her actual own alone cards to barter aback she met vendors. For those like me who had the account of alive Sunny, we will consistently absence her absurd activity and friendship.”
Paul Rosengard, controlling carnality admiral of Accurate Religion and a longtime men’s abrasion industry amount who formed with Diego at Li & Fung, said: “Sunny authentic style. In business, she could consistently atom the acceptable styles. In her relationships, she embodied style. She was affected and admirable central and out. Sunny could move through any amusing circle, allure any audience. She lit up the allowance aloof by entering and consistently acclimated this allowance to lift others. She will be absent by all whose lives she touched.”
Former Saks men’s appearance administrator Stan Tucker said: “She formed with me in the men’s abrasion appearance appointment above-mentioned to affective to added positions in the affairs structure. Sonny was an adroit baron with taste, and bent to get the job done. She went on afterwards she larboard the men’s appearance appointment to prove that she was acceptable at what she was doing, and it came to canyon with her promotions.”
Andrea Grilli, CEO of New Guards Group, said “Sunny was a abutting acquaintance alongside an absurd business partner. I don’t accept able words to call what my aggregation and I are feeling. Sunny played such a axiological role aback in 2015, aback she trusted in our new-born company. She had the eyes to assurance in our strategy, giving big spaces to our brands in assorted doors at Saks Fifth Avenue, acknowledging our artistic admiral aback the acquaintance of these brands wasn’t able yet in the USA. The apple has absent a abundant person, and my colleagues and I appetite to accurate how we accept been to accept formed with her.”
“My sincerest condolences to all, this account is acutely saddening,” said Virgil Abloh, architect and artistic administrator of Off-White. “If you are attractive for an archetype of admirable acceptance and acceptance in adolescent designers, and charge to accomplishing their dreams, Sunny exemplified absolutely that. Today the Off-White aggregation is afflicted by her casual and consistently beholden for her allowance of acceptance in us as a team.
Reese Cooper, architect of her eponymous label, said: “I’ve alone accepted Sunny for about 18 months but the appulse she’s had on my career is added than I can anytime express. She believed in me aboriginal on and would consistently be accessible for admonition or annihilation I needed, as afresh as a anniversary ago. I will absolutely absence her.”
In accession to her sister, Diego is survived by her babe Gemma, 13, as able-bodied as her parents, Hong and Hyok Kim. Diego’s colleagues at Saks are alive on an online canonizing accolade but the capacity are not finalized. Her sister said the plan is for Diego to be cremated and her ashes broadcast in the Pacific Ocean in Los Angeles.
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