Starting a Business

Talent's Never Enough: Emerging Fashion Designers on Honing Business Savvy

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Designers wanting to be the next Zac Posen need more than dreamy sketches and an eye for hot trends. Launching your own line requires a hardcore entrepreneurial mindset.

During New York Fashion Week, we caught up with featured designers from Nolcha Fashion Week -- one of the city’s largest platforms for independent designers. We asked two founders of stylish startups what it takes to survive. It turns out their core lessons are essential for those in any industry.

Build your team. Designer Rinat Brodach says one of her first obstacles was building a circle of trust. “The media has made fashion this fabulous thing, everyone wants to be in it and everyone wants a hand in it, but not all are genuine.” The Israeli designer adds this meant finding a seamstress, patternmaker, a public relations team, interns and investors that she could count on.

Know all the angles. Rachel Gregory of Gregory Apparel says that patternmakers profit off emerging designers who have big ideas, but not the know-how to back them up. Professional patternmakers transform designs into proper patterns for mass production. She says these apparel patternmakers profit big time off new designers who “don’t know any better, who pay thousands and thousands of dollars and put it all in their first line.”

Learn more about how they're navigating the competitive world of fashion in this short video. We visit them backstage and take a look at Nolcha's collective shows featuring various independent lines and emerging talents. We catch up with Brodach and Gregory to discuss how they've honed their business savvy and their eye for design. 

Related: New York Fashion Week is a Big Deal for Emerging Designers

Edition: December 2016

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