Today, the blueprint for starting and running a fashion brand isn’t black and white. These designers have built strong labels, and they haven’t hit 30. Here’s how they did it.
The fashion business has changed quickly over the past few years, and the blueprints set by designers like Ralph Lauren or Bobby Hundreds are, in many ways, no longer applicable. It’s difficult to say whether younger designers today have it easier or harder than their predecessors, but with stores closing, an oversaturation of product, and consumers’ continuous desire for something new, standing out and running a viable business takes more than a design degree and a lot of money.
To run a fashion line today you have to be an inventive designer, a nimble entrepreneur, and a savvy storyteller. Everyone in the list below is in their 20s, but each of their brands is at a different phase. There’s Esper, 25, from Come Back as a Flower, who only started his line a few months ago but has received early co-signs from Big Sean and ASAP Rocky and is figuring out how to work with retailers in an environmentally friendly way. Then there’s Michael Cherman, 28, who started a successful brand, ICNY, then lost control of it because of an investor. So he introduced Chinatown Market, a line that’s grown quickly and sits in retailers ranging from Urban Outfitters to Browns.
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