Back in 2010, Ramy Brook was working in advertising when she realized a gap in the fashion space. After searching tirelessly for the perfect going out top to pair with jeans, she found herself at a dead end. But, rather than giving up, she decided to make one, and from there, the Ramy Brook label was born. Made for a woman by a woman, the New York based brand has become a wardrobe staple for the workingwomen on the go. Her use of silky fabrics and bold colors makes for the perfect palette to pair with statement accessories, while also being the quintessential day-to-night item.
Inspired by the strong women in her own life, Ramy created her first six items knowing that busy women demand a timeless, elegant and versatile wardrobe that can span the test of time. So, what does it really take to being your own fashion label? We sat down the Ramy to ask her just that. Below, take a look into the world or Ramy Brook where she shares her tips and tricks to Making it in Manhattan.
Growing up, did you always have an interest in becoming a fashion designer?
My mother is incredibly stylish and so as a child, many of my fondest memories revolved around her dressing up my sisters and me. As the years went on, my love of clothing continued and though I worked in advertising, I always took an interest in what was taking place in the fashion space. I had taken a break from my advertising career while my children were young, and in 2010, I grew frustrated that I was unable to find the perfect date-night top. Discouraged by my lack of options, I decided to start Ramy Brook with six sexy tops and one dress. And the rest is history!
What was your first job out of college, and how did it impact your career?
I began my career working for Grey Advertising as an Assistant Media Planner, which I loved! It was a very young, vibrant industry and incredibly social. Most of my days were spent meeting with magazines who were seeking our advertising dollars. I learned quite a bit about all the different publications and met tons of great people. I was able to really hone my people skills, which is something that I have taken with me throughout all my professional experiences.
What was the biggest rookie mistake you made when starting your company?
When we first launched Ramy Brook, we employed an outside sales team to meet with the buyers on our behalf. There were times when I went around them which I quickly realized is a big no-no. It is important to all work as a team and be on the same page.
What did you wear to your first interview?
A navy blue suit from Ann Taylor. It felt very adult and professional at the time.
Who have been your biggest mentors in the industry and what is the best advice they have ever given you?
I am lucky that I received tremendous support from key women in the fashion industry. Stefani Greenfield, the former owner of Scoop and Jennifer Miller, of Jennifer Miller Jewelry, took me under their wings and were extremely helpful and encouraging from the minute I told them I wanted to start a clothing line. Stefani taught me retail math in a day and Jennifer provided expertise on the ins and outs of running a brick and mortar store.
What inspired you to begin your own clothing line and what did it take to begin your own company?
I was looking for a sexy top wear with jeans- something that was silky and solid that would compliment my jewelry. I was unable to find exactly what I was looking for, so I decided I would learn how to make it. That initial idea spurred a small collection of six tops and one dress, which I began to sell at trunk shows at my friends’ homes. The response was immediate and very positive. Women began ordering the garments in multiple color ways and from there, Ramy Brook really began to grow.
Your clothing is the perfect palette for the girl that loves to layer on statement jewelry. What are some of your personal favorite jewelry brands to pair with your collection?
I love jewelry. Many of my friends are jewelers and I think they all have great pieces and style. Jennifer Miller, Jennifer Fisher, Marcie Fleck and Catherine Beth are some of my favorites!
As a woman that’s on the go, what is one item you never leave home without?
I have three- my phone, sunglasses and lip gloss.
What advice would you give to an aspiring designer hoping to start their own line?
Go for it!!! And ask for help!
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