Byline: Jessica Kerwin

NEW YORK — If they knew then what they know now, how many designers would still have the chutzpah to start out in the fashion business all over again?
Since the Eighties, Robert Funk has worked in design rooms and work rooms up and down Seventh Avenue from Marc Jacobs to Jackie Rogers. He started his own line, landed a couple of store accounts, lost them, took a hiatus from fashion to work on his art and started all over again from scratch. “In art you set a problem for yourself and find a solution,” Funk says. “That’s what I do with fashion. If you look too far ahead you say, ‘Why am I doing this?’ It’s a great education working for other people, but you see things…”
Funk’s new line is made up of raw-edged T-shirts, cool jackets and rust-stained skirts that wholesale from $60 to $250. The designer describes it as “American simple.” And he’s not giving up.
“You sort of get caught up in working at other places and the longer you do it the harder it is to do your own line,” he says. “I’m ready. I want to design and sometimes you have to give yourself your own opportunity.”

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