Samantha Hollinger strives to continue the family legacy at Manhattan-based company, RD International. Helmed by her grandfather for 40 years, her father came on board, making RD International’s operations a family affair. With the help of overseas manufacturing — some that have been used since the brand’s inception — Hollinger sees a future brimming with opportunities for success.
Here, Hollinger discusses how the brand differentiates itself in the market as well as its focus for fall.
WWD: When was RD International founded?
Samantha Hollinger: [RD International] was started by my grandfather over forty years ago and my dad took it over about thirty-five years ago.
WWD: In an increasingly crowded market, how is RD International distinguishing itself from the competition?
S.H.: What we strive to do at our company is create a family both at work and at home. I just got back [from] overseas where we do a lot of our production. We are dealing with sons of the same manufacturers that my grandfather knew. The fact that we are still partnered up with people all over the world to get our product, I think, is the most exciting part about it.
WWD: What is RD International’s focus for its fall collection?
S.H.: Fall is based on the continued aesthetic of comfort. We have ath-leisure. a ton of knits from top to bottom; “Knits, knits, knits” is what we like to call the collection.
WWD: What is RD International’s mission in the wholesale apparel market?
S.H.: What we strive to do at RD International is maintain our customer service from a wholesale perspective, as well as develop one-on-one connections with the people who are wearing the clothes.
WWD: How long has the brand been showing at Fame [trade show]?
S.H.: We have been showing at Fame for seven years now. What keeps me coming back is the emotional connection from the first time we showed [here]. We were in a 10 x 10 booth with computer-generated banners, but now we’ve really graduated.
WWD: What benefits do you think your brand gets from attending trade shows like this?
S.H.: We think shows are a really important way to make connections with new customers. I think it’s also important for the retailers on the flip-side to see that we do continue to have a presence.