“You have to leave no stone unturned,” said Sarah Rutson, sharing how she discovered Monse designers Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia by way of LinkedIn. In a story that could easily qualify as an urban digital networking myth, Rutson, Net-a-porter’s vice president of global buying, responded to an e-mail Kim sent to her on LinkedIn. “I get 200 messages a day, usually from factories in Pakistan, and I usually just delete, delete, delete,” said Rutson. “But I read Laura’s and she had me at ‘hello.'”
“It was probably ‘hello’ spelled with three ‘L’s,” said Garcia, mocking his partner for her poor spelling habits. Whatever it was Kim wrote, it worked. Net-a-porter is carrying Monse’s first season, spring, and Rutson reported the collection is selling quite well during a small dinner she hosted for Kim and Garcia on Tuesday night at Tiny’s in TriBeCa.
Kim and Garcia, both of whom worked at Oscar de la Renta before launching Monse, have had a promising response to their collection. In addition to Net-a-porter, the line is sold at Bergdorf Goodman, Lane Crawford and Neiman Marcus, and they’re showing their first resort collection in a few weeks. The duo is also moonlighting in Carolina Herrera’s design studio. “Mrs. Herrera is amazing to work with and [the supplemental income] is also really helpful when you’re starting your own business,” said Kim.