On Friday, Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia presented their Monse resort 2020 collection to editors, influencers and customers in an outdoor plaza in NYC’s Financial District. Before the show, the designers -- who are also creative directors of Oscar de la Renta -- spoke with me about why resort is important and what advice they’d give young designers.
How important is this collection to your overall business?
Garcia: Resort and pre-fall are our biggest markets. They’re usually a good 40 percent bigger than the “main” runway collections of spring and fall. The fanfare [of NYFW] is wonderful, but for us, it’s all about the product. When they’re clicking to buy, that’s the cash flow that sustains your company.
Are any of the pieces you’re showing today see-now-buy-now?
Kim: I actually don't believe in that. It's a very dangerous decision for a company to make, whether you’re big or small. You’re investing a huge amount of money on just guessing what's going to work.
Garcia: Fashion is very emotional; you follow your gut, and you can't plan ahead. You don't know what people are going to react to [during the resort season] in six months.
How much data is playing into the styles you debut every season?
Kim: We grew up [working] at Oscar [de la Renta], and it's a very “merchandise” company -- so we do look at the sellings a lot to see what women like and need. We also look at what other brands are selling.
Does the industry today embrace young talent?
Garcia: I don't know what it takes to thrive outside of New York, but here, people are very supportive after they see you in the industry for a while -- so I would just advise young designers to pay attention to that assistance.
Kim: There’s more support in New York. I have friends who got their start in Paris, and I was surprised by how little support they got. Everyone here gets excited about new things -- that’s an American thing. -- Jill Manoff