A graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology, Ogawa decided to pursue a career in fashion illustration, starting out sketching newspaper ads for Henri Bendel in the retailer’s advertising department on 56th Street. Upon hearing about an opening at WWD in 1978, Ogawa applied.
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At a time when employers sometimes encouraged their talent to pursue or accept posts at other companies, Ogawa said he consulted with Henri Bendel’s president Geraldine Stutz about whether he should accept the WWD job and she was all for it. Asked about making the switch to WWD, he said, “I had just graduated from school three months ago. They had very prestigious illustrators. Everybody was very well-known.