Home » All our news » Alumni STORIES – VOL.1 | KATARINA CLOIDT

I want to affirm that such a path is possible, without turning into a yes-sayer.

Alumna | International University of Monaco
Program | Master of science in Luxury Goods and Services
Graduated in 2011
City of residence | Mexico

What made you progress as a student, and still does today?

Never giving in to mediocrity, never being resigned to your situation, or being content with what you have. All choices are respectable, but I always liked to try to go further to see what else could work!

Immersed in the traffic and effervescence of Mexico City — the “city that is always on the move” — every morning, Katarina crosses streets animated by local merchants. Faced with their storefront stalls and the flavors that inhabit the area, she reminisces over her international journey that began with a high school exchange in Florida, which gave her a first glimpse of the dynamism of Latin America. An initiation that held her interest as one who has always kept an open mind to things distant and near, even beyond the planisphere: “When I look back, I tell myself that serendipity is very present in my path because I am a sponge; I absorb everything that inspires me! I wasn’t destined to work here at all, nor in fashion.” At a time when such programs were rare, the International University of Monaco was far enough ahead of the curve to propel Katarina into the luxury sector: “I got a lot out of this specialized Master’s degree because, in a very concrete way, it allowed me to study the field in which I wanted to become a professional: consumer behavior. In this subject, I was able to learn a methodology that cannot be found anywhere else.” If that hands-on approach, meetings with experts from Zegna, and the discovery of historical headquarters in Florence most prepared her for an appointment with the future, the self-assessed “nerdy” student still had the audacity to put Cartier on the first line of her CV.

Proactive by nature, the native of Ratingen, not far from Düsseldorf, is quite acutely aware of how her Germanic heritage makes her tick — “I’m all task, organization, and dedication!” That same culture led Katarina to pursue purchasing, sales and marketing, and participate in the relaunch of Paco Rabanne’s fashion division in Paris — “I realized a dream there: attend a haute couture show!” — before making a first stop in Mexico at Hugo Boss, then joining Diesel in Italy: “It is essential to remember that you are only a small cog in the machine when you start! So what is expected of a graduate student is to show themselves capable of giving their best.” These experiences strengthened her current position as Vice President of PVH Mexico, a local branch specializing in the commercialization of ready-to-wear clothing aimed toward making the Latin market grow. From a skyscraper shared by thirty brands, she allows the group to succeed in its positioning, to select its distribution channels with discernment, and to demonstrate that fashion is integral to sustainable development. Taking care of a client portfolio that includes Tommy Hilfiger, Speedo, and Calvin Klein, Katarina navigates as if on a breeze from meetings in Spanish to quick catch-ups in English with other megacities: “In fact, I’ve never worked in Germany! My job includes its share of reporting to teams in Amsterdam and New York, but it also involves me visiting stores, and interacting with teams in multiple locations simultaneously!”

Company leaders have long made Katarina want to take on important responsibilities of her own, but her sensitivity to their admirable career path pushed her to deconstruct certain fears of what makes one capable, and understand that their level was not unattainable: “Even though it wasn’t always easy for me, and I put a lot of work into it, I want to affirm that such a path is possible, without turning into a yes-man.” Because the International University of Monaco is part of her identity, she comes back to revisit what she’s known, happy to see that other alumni have also grown: “Five years after graduation, it was a real sense of pride to feel a part of this community, and to see that everyone had accomplished something in their own way! And accomplishment is not just about the professional sphere; for me, my greatest life choice is to have married the man I love.” If today she lacks the time to get back in the saddle after ten years of horseback riding, it is because she prefers cultivating her garden so that good fruits and vegetables flourish in the heart of the neighborhood. The business leader does not neglect the potential of any seed, as long as it is placed in the right soil, with patience and care as the only guiding virtues. In her career or in this relationship with the earth, Katarina has finally proven that it all comes down to a simple science — accepting growth as the ultimate worth!

Written portrait© Maison Trafalgar | Watercolor drawing © Maison Trafalgar & Camille Romanetto

Updated 18 October 2022