BEHIND THE THREADS WITH DORIAN GRACE
One of our goals with our blog "The Quest for IT" is to highlight women in the fashion industry that are on the rise. Those that have risen and those that keep goal setting and continuously raising the bar.
As a part of the "IT" girl campaign. I decided that we should honor one girl each month and bestow them with the well deserved title
We are topping off 2016 by shining light on our very first "IT" girl of the month.
We are super excited to name:
I ran across Dorian's IG last year. We had a few mutual followers and was able to see her moving around in business. She was very stylish, with a consistent and professional Instagram account. I was intrigued. What does this one do? Blogger, IG Stylist, random fashion girl??? Nope. I looked a little deeper and saw that she owned DLux (
which is a luxury boutique. She was certainly "IT" girl material. I soon reached out and we finally got to chat about her boutique, her style, and more. Enjoy Part 1 of our interview Dorian.
What is DLux?
Dlux is a boutique brand I started in 2009 at the start of the recession that for me re-Defined Luxury hence the namesake DLUX. Traditionally luxury has always been defined by European designer labels with high retails but to me luxury is a state of being and is defined by an emotional connection.
I wanted my brands look and feel and customer service approach to be luxurious at any price point when provided with exceptional service and quality, hand-curated product.
I've been in business since 2009, and although I closed the doors to my first boutique in 2013 however, the brand was able to live on through a branded partnership I secured in Chicago with former basketball player Bobby Simmons who wanted to bring a New York fast fashion aesthetic to the Chicago market via DLUX women's and BrysonMilan Men's. This co-branded partnership was the first model for something new for me in creating a Liscensed agreement for the brand.
How did you get started in the fashion industry?
I started in Fashion straight out of college, grcaduating from the University of Virginia and immediately my first job landed me in the Saks Fifth Avenue 3mos Buying training program, which I
remained at Saks for 4yrs in areas like Designer Intimates overseeing brands like LaPerla and Wolford for the Saks nationwide. Following Saks I went on Sean John.
Wow! You went straight for it!! Saks is a great brand and an amazing way to start a career in fashion.
How was it working at Sean John?
Sean John took me to the other of the table opposite of the buyer on the wholesale end where I remained for 4.5 yrs building department store accounts for Mr. Combs taking the brand from 8millon to 30+ million. Sean John was at its peak and hired exceptional staff from brands like Ralph Lauren, BLOOMINGDALE'S etc. We were a well diversified team with lots of retail experience in negotiations, retail math, and merchandising (all key components of my position).
After I left Sean John I was hired to lead the wholesale team for Beyonce's House of Dereon where I soon became the go to Sales executive to celebrity driven junior brands.
Again, I was able to help secure the HOD brand in stores like Macy's, Nordstroms, as well as several online partners and small boutiques across the country. I worked very closely with Mr & Ms Knowles who were very involved with the day to day operations of the brand.
You have an amazing track record. How was the experience at HOD?
It was always gratifying to launch a brand and to see it in the stores and even more exciting to see it on the streets. I think House of Dereon was the hardest brand to leave because it was such a family business and the the Knowles were extremely involved 😩 and they were such pleasant southern hospitality type people. Next I went on the
manage and resurrect Eve's Fetish and following the closing of her brand I went on to open DLUX.