Nanette Lepore hopes to make the fashion industry realise local production is vital to sales.
The US fashion designer has been one of those championing a new drive to improve the manufacturing infrastructure in New York City. Many chose to have their pieces made overseas for cost reasons, but Nanette is adamant that is a short-sighted approach.
“If I have something that’s selling really well, we can re-cut it and have it back in the stores in three weeks. I can’t do that when I go overseas,” she told Fashionista.com.
“I have this jacket I wanted, we sold out of it right off the bat from our resort collection and it was going to come in four months later. By that time, the demand is gone.”
Nanette has been open about how much she struggled when she started out in the industry in the past. She began her business with $5,000, which, due to the high cost of production overseas, would be impossible for wannabes nowadays. She also experienced a difficult period when her father remortgaged the family home to help pay for her store space, only for her to lose the money.
The designer hopes those in control of city decisions will start to understand the industry isn’t just about the bi-annual Fashion Week.
“Without the factories, you don’t really have a fashion industry,” she explained. “That’s what the city government was missing, they didn’t realise you can’t just have designers in their studios, you need all the people that actually help make the stuff.”
Nanette showed her Fall/Winter 14 line on Wednesday and was inspired by “no specific place”. So there was weaving on some pieces, tiger motifs on others and pretty chiffon pieces gliding down the catwalk between tweed-look numbers.
While some designers have chosen to ditch the famous Lincoln Center tents for fear they were becoming too crowded, Nanette presented at them. She hopes some kind of decision will be made to make things easier for everyone in the future.
“I wish we could get everybody closer to the same page,” she said. “Why can’t we put it back in Bryant Park? Then if there [were shows] off-site, we’re sort of in the middle instead of all the way uptown.”
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