What was your most successful idea? Two fashion traders reveal how their greatest idea - and how they made it happen.
New York Fashion Week founder: Fern Mallis
The idea for Fashion Week was a cumulative industry dream that was dreamed about for many years.
In New York, there was a fashion or market week, with fifty events in fifty locations and it was very disorganised, no one really talked to each other about convenient locations or times.
In 1991, Michael Kors had his fashion show in a raw Chelsea loft space, and when the loud bass music went on…the ceiling of the venue began to crumble and landed on the shoulders of the high profile supermodels and fashion editors.
Editors wrote the next day “we live for fashion, we don’t want to die for it”.
In my then role as executive director of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), I felt like my job description changed and my mission shifted to finding a space to modernise, centralise and organise fashion week for American designers.
A year later, we presented organised shows in New York, developing a collaborative schedule. In the fall of 1993, we launched 7th on Sixth in tents in Bryant Park.
This created a platform for American designers to compete on a global basis, and it changed fashion week(s) forever.
Jodie Fox: Shoes of Prey founder
I was solving a problem of my own – I’d always liked shoes, but I never loved them because I couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for.
Either it wasn’t quite the right colour, there was an embellishment I didn’t like, not quite the right heel height... anyway, when I was travelling, in the same way that you find someone who will make a custom suit for you, I found someone with whom I could commission shoe designs.
My shoe collection became really exciting, and my girlfriends asked me where I was getting my footwear.
When I explained, they asked me to create shoes for them too.
Concurrently, my two business partners Mike and Michael were at Google and becoming really excited about the opportunities in online retail.
They just needed an idea. We all came together and Shoes of Prey was born.
We broke even at two months, hit multimillion dollar revenues in under two years and funds raised to date of ~$25M USD.