Anthony Mark Hankins, all of 23, had his salary doubled and was given a good office, an assistant, a storeroom, and a modest budget. After celebrating with Ackerman and other new company friends , he began five months of 80- hour weeks. In November 1992 his line made its store debut and was featured on the cover and first eight pages of Fashion Influences , a specialty catalog for instore and mail distribution to African-American customers. He was also invited to hit the road for trunk shows. The kid was living his dream.
But all was not wonderful, and Anthony's response was unfortunate.
Indy-car racer Lyn St. James had begun racing under the JCPenney ("Spirit of the American Woman") colors. St. James knew the corporate ropes and once in a speech outlined her approach to sponsors ( especially ) like Penney. "You must learn the rules," she said. "Then you play by the rules, win by the rules, and only then consider possibly changing the rules." Hankins should have been as wise.
He was told that he would be reporting directly to a vice president. This seemed like great news because it would scrape away a lot of bureaucratic sludge. Then the officer was revealed.