UNT merchandising graduate scours the globe to secure trend right products
September 07, 2010

Daton Lee ('00, '02 M.B.A.), division merchandising manager for Pepe Jeans, is combating  rising labor costs in China, scouring South Asia, Pakistan, Vietnam and Bangladesh for new manufacturing factory sources.

 

Lee's global experiences began when UNT welcomed him as an international student to campus. He came to UNT from Hong Kong seeking the merchandising program, where he says he received valuable real-life experiences. As a graduate student, he was manager for the experiential J.C. Penney Campus Catalog laboratory and completed his thesis research on the supply chain relationship in apparel retail product development, results that were published in the Journal of Marketing Channels.

 

Today working for Pepe Jeans - one of the fastest-growing denim and casual wear companies in the world Lee lives and works in Hong Kong, traveling between corporate offices in London, Madrid and Hong Kong and across Asia.

"The essential part of my job is getting the right product made at the right prices and delivered at the right time," he says. "I've worked on both sides of the garment business as supplier and buyer, so I understand the difficulties faced by each."

 

"From the research skills I developed at UNT, I know how to improve the process in terms of understanding the needs of each party," he says. "Suppliers have their requirements, and the sources from China or India each have their own culture and background". When you have a better understanding, you have better communication.

 

 

"The program at UNT encouraged me to think, to be more analytical and to solve problems," says Lee.

 Read about how UNT's alumni are leading global businesses 

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