Adriana Marie started her production company, Amco NYC, with the perspective of a fashion designer. Marie had been designing her own line of T-shirts and other items for the 10 years prior, and wanted to transition that experience into a business that supported other up-and-coming designers.
Today, she coordinates fashion shows, manages influencer and brand partnerships, and runs an e-commerce marketplace to drive sales of her clients’ designs. She’s a big believer in see-now-buy-now, as well, with the mindset that if emerging designers build their businesses with this model in mind, it will eventually become par for the course.
Marie joined the Glossy Podcast during New York Fashion Week to talk about scaling new businesses, the importance of the customer relationship, and how her production agency also manages to pull off e-commerce operations.
Giving a platform to young designers
Marie said that when she was a designer, it was much harder to get your foot in the door. Now that the industry’s traditional setup has come apart, she’s helping her clients navigate the newfound freedom, where you don’t need a massive budget to participate in fashion shows.
“One of the best things we have going for us is that I can put myself in the shoes of people we’re working for,” she said. “It used to be more cut and dry, and there were no agencies doing anything for smaller designers. The industry is an expensive thing to get into and then sustain yourself within.”
How see-now-buy-now is opening up new opportunities
Marie believes that now’s the time for smaller designer brands to take advantage of the confusion that’s taken over the fashion industry and the fashion shows. When you’re small and nimble, you’re able to respond to consumer demand faster. The see-now-buy-now model allows revenues made from previous collections to be used to fund the next ones.
“There’s so much disruption happening, it’s not straightforward — but at the same time, it’s become more inclusive,” she said. “Emerging designers have more control over the products that go out and how fast they can get stuff done. See-now-buy-now is very helpful for their businesses.”
New ways to sell
For designers with small budgets who need to make sales to catch the attention of wholesale buyers, a lot rides on the customer relationship. But don’t rule out Amazon.
“Selling is the hardest thing. You have to know who your customer is, but you’re designing for yourself,” she said. “You have to ask: Who’s your customer? where do they hang out? That’s a big part of understanding who you’re selling to. Still, Amazon would be an amazing partner for anyone.”