"Being a designer and a business owner is not as glamorous as you might think," confessed New York-based designer Pamela Dennis to an eager audience of designer wannabes.
Dennis, who was the keynote speaker at a Fashion Group seminar for fashion students and their teachers, related tales of 24-hour days and an endless parade of trunk shows. She also told how she had to lean on her father for a $25,000 loan and commandeer his office -- conveniently located on Seventh Avenue -- to fill her first order, for Henri Bendel.
While most of the 600 audience members are learning the orthodox approach to the fashion industry, Dennis did things her own way -- backwards. An aspiring lawyer with no formal fashion training, her first designs were executed by a tailor who cut a pattern around her body as she lay on the floor. Only now is she learning the basic skill of pattern-making. "You never know when you're going to need it," she said.
Dennis's advice to fledgling designers: Pay attention to what your customer wants. "I'm the queen of specials," Dennis said. "I'm very keyed in to the customer, and I believe that is 100 percent of my success."
Following her address, the audience was treated to a show of Dennis's collection for spring '94. Then it was the students' turn, with designs from the Fashion Group Foundation student design competition. The contrast between Dennis's pared-down, wearable silhouettes and the students' otherworldly creations offered yet another lesson in the realities of fashion.
@deciem is all about transparency and approachability. At this year’s WWD Digital Beauty Forum, the brand's co-CEO @nicolakilner said talking to customers directly about the ingredients in products and how they work is key. #wwdsummits #wwdbeauty
‘We didn't know how relevant our film would be when we were making it. When Steven [Rogers] wrote the script Trump wasn't president, class divide in America wasn't as evident as it is now, though it was present. The Time’s Up movement hadn't began and the way we look at women and treat women who speak out — thankfully that is something that seems to have shifted in the last year. I think we just need to continue making art that provokes the conversation and do what we can,’ said ‘I, Tonya’ actress @margotrobbie. Head to WWD.com to see all the celebrities who walked the red carpet @bafta #timesup #wwdeye (📸: Neil Hall)
Gemma Arterton is joined on the @bafta’s red carpet by Eileen Pullen and Gwen Davis, the two women who started the fight for the pay-gap. ‘They represent a normal person speaking out for what is right. Speak out, we will listen and anyone can speak out,’ said Arterton. #eebaftas #timesup #wwdeye (📸: David Fisher)
On the list of emerging designers to watch at London Fashion Week is @nabilnayal. The Syrian-Born and raised designer – who is known for his sculptural and dramatic designs with an Elizabethan era aesthetic – said he designs for a woman who is not afraid to challenge conventions. To see which other up-and-coming talents are joining the schedule this season, head to WWD.com. #wwdfashion #lfw (📷: @gomezdevillaboa)