Building a Fashion Startup

Wednesday, May 29, 2019 - 18:30
NYC Startup Community
New York


“Setting up a fashion business is all the more challenging because this is a hyper-competitive industry (who doesn’t want to be a fashion designer these days?) and a very complex one as well. What other kinds of start-up businesses so quickly find themselves with customers and suppliers scattered around the world, requiring so much coordination and organization?” - Imran Amed, Founder & Editor-In-Chief of Business of Fashion

New York is a hotbed for fashion startups and brands - our concrete jungle is home to the largest fashion titans in the world, as well as new brands like Warby Parker, Rent the Runway, Bonobos, and MM.LaFleur.

Fashion entrepreneurs face a unique set of challenges including optimization of their manufacturing and distribution, sourcing materials, staying on top of the latest trends, and standing out in a crowded landscape with a bevy of competitors.

But through the use of new tech, clever marketing, and innovative designs, fashion entrepreneurs have built brands that have improved our lives (and wardrobes).

If you’re building a fashion startup, join us on May 29th as we discuss what it takes to launch and grow a fashion startup with some of NYC’s smartest entrepreneurs. We’ll discuss
- Designing & prototyping your product
- Finding manufacturers
- Competing in a crowded space
- Planning for direct-to-consumer or other distribution channels
- Marketing for your product
- Fundraising options for beauty startups

About the panelists

- Bouchra Ezzahraoui is the Co-founder of AUrate, a jewelry fashion startup based in New York. Bouchra Ezzahraoui comes from Goldman Sachs with a rich background in business strategy, finance, and investor relations. Bouchra spent most of her early years in Morocco and France. Sophie and Bouchra met at Princeton and were at brunch one day lamenting how there were no fine jewelry brands that were doing modern designs at an accessible price point.

- Polina Veksler is the Co-Founder and CEO of Universal Standard, a brand she started with her business partner to help disrupt the apparel industry by taking size out of the equation and laying the groundwork for the future of fashion to include women of all sizes. Polina creates and steers the company strategy and oversees everything from operations, communicating the brand’s vision to key stakeholders, raising investment capital, and expanding the brand’s rapid growth trajectory. Polina founded the company with friend, Co-Founder and Creative Director, Alexandra Waldman.

- Meg He is the Co-founder of ADAY, a direct-to-consumer brand with a mission to create a better wardrobe of clothing that does more with less. Using technical fabrics and innovative production, ADAY creates versatile, long-lasting apparel with a sustainable approach. ADAY's mission is to set a new standard for clothing and for the $1.5 trillion fashion industry. Named as one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies by Fast Company, Meg was also named to the Forbes 30 under 30 with her co-founder, Nina Faulhaber.

- Melanie Travis is the Founder and CEO of Andie, a global e-commerce brand disrupting the market for women's swimwear. Melanie established her career at some of New York City's most successful consumer technology companies: Foursquare, Kickstarter, and most recently Bark & Co. Melanie studied Comparative Literature at Haverford College and film directing at the California Institute of the Arts (MFA).

- Melissa Duren Conner (Moderator), Partner & Managing Director of Jennifer Bett Communications- Melissa Duren Conner is a publicist and strategic thinker with over 10 years of industry experience. Throughout her career, she's led PR services for leading companies like TOMS, David Yurman, Monique Lhuillier, Zimmermann, Kelly Wearstler, and Jack Spade.

6:30 - 6:50: Drinks & Networking
6:50 - 7:50: Panel
7:50 - 8:15: Audience Q&A
8:15 - 9:00: More Drinks & Networking

New York