How To Make It: 10 Fashion Designers Give Their Rules For Success

Mon 7th Nov 2016

Complex Magazine linked up with some of street-wear's greatest fashion designers of the decade to deliver life-long advice for every designer.

When the experts talk, you listen. Everyone has to take their own path to success, but it never hurts to hear from those who have achieved similar goals to what you're setting out for. If you're an aspiring fashion designer or want to break into the fashion industry, then this is a must-read. From streetwear giants to high-fashion gawds, we got the knowledge from some of the best designers out there.

1. Patrik Ervell

Rule: Get Personal

"Don't be afraid to draw upon your own life experiences. Do it in a way that it can become open to other points of reference, but for me one of the quickest ways to find something universal is to start with something very personal; especially with clothes. Finding a way to balance the fascination for the new or modern or unexpected with something a bit more intimate and relatable can be very powerful." - Patrik Ervell

       2.   Black Scale



Rule: Make Sure You Have a Good Team

"Without a good team it will never work out. Having everyone on the same page is important because it will otherwise fall apart quickly. Being able to work together on future goals and sustaining that attitude to make sure it's fully achieved. Keeping the lead cook at his position directing his entire line so everything is prepared properly.

Without my team we wouldn't exist because everyone plays a very important role within the company. To the creative, production, warehouse, retail stores, distribution, marketing and business one man cannot fulfill all those duties and with everyone on the same page all these functions will work together for the benefits of the company. Learning how to let go is one of the hardest things with owning any business but learning how to trust in your team and delegating work to people that do it better than you will only help your company grow." - Michael "Mega" Yabut

 

  1.  Robert Geller


Rule: Work Hard and Be Nice to People
"I saw that written somewhere and thought this was a great saying. There are so many good things that have come to me because of being friendly to someone at some point. There has been this idea of nice guys finishing last, but I think that's crap. I have met tons of amazingly talented and successful nice guys here in New York. They are the first I call when I have a great opportunity to give to someone." -Robert Geller

 

  1. Staple

Rule: Know Your Profits and Losses

"Person A has a clothing line that generates $10 million a year in gross sales. But after he factors in losses/expenses, the 'net income' of that clothing line is actually –$100,000. (Note the negative sign!)

Person B has a clothing that generates only $800,000 a year in gross sales. After he factors in his losses/expenses, his "net income" is +$100,000. Person B runs a tighter ship.

Many people would rather choose to be Person A because they can walk around and say 'I have a $10 million dollar company!' But look under the hood. The smart money is on Person B. It doesn't matter how hot your brand might be. The math doesn't lie." -Jeff Staple

 

  1. Pyer Moss

    Rule: Be Focused

    "I learned to stick with vision. The hardest thing is to sometimes ignore seemingly great advice from great people. Everyone has an opinion about your work and what they'd like to see you do but remaining steadfast with an idea is much more impressive than constantly tailoring it to fit everyone's sentiment." -Kerby Jean-Raymond
  1. Shipley & Halmos

    Rule: Under Promise and Over Deliver

    "Probably rings true for most businesses. In fashion, it's not all that hard to get some samples made. The challenge comes when you get a bunch of orders. Then you're faced with the challenge of everyone's favorite thing... Production!" -Sam Shipley and Jeff Halmos
  1. Cadet

    Rule: Be Open To Advice

    "The biggest lesson we have learned is that we will never have all the answers and that is okay. Every designer, business, and vision is unique. Be open to advice, but make sure to maintain your own integrity. Put one foot in front of the other, but be flexible enough to take advantage of opportunities that force you to walk sideways." -Raul Arevalo and Brad Schmidt
  1. Ovadia & Sons

Rule: Have a Vision

"Having a strong vision is a key. Know what you want and how to communicate it to the people you are working with. The more clarity you have in your work, the better the results. Stick to what you believe in. There's no magic bullet but it will help you get where you want to be." -Shimon Ovadia and Ariel Ovadia

  1. Public School

    Rule: Relationships Are Key

    "You really have to establish a strong relationship and partnership with your factories and manufacturers, and NYC allows us to do that. We want to make sure everything is done the way we want it to be done. We used to produce overseas, and now it feels great to make our collections here in New York. Apart from it being a part of our story, it's giving back to our city. When the factory is here, we can oversee the quality." -Maxwell Osborne and Dao-Yi Chow
  1. En Noir

    Rule: Always be Thankful

    "People's idea of success is a very humbling thing. It's important to enjoy the success while always remaining thankful. Every step of success comes with a lot of help and support from the people around you." -Rob Garcia

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