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Young Designers Have to Put on a Show to Succeed These Days

>> Prabal Gurung, whose debut Fall 2009 collection earned him a spot on the designers-to-watch list, revealed to the New York Times that young designers can't just make chic clothes and succeed these days — there are various other factors. “I’ve certainly been told who I need to be hanging out with.”  

And instead of showing buyers clothes in his tiny studio apartment, he previews his collection in an apartment that belongs to a rich friend. Cathy Horyn writes:

"Five or six years ago buyers expected to find a young designer sleeping in a hole next to his fabrics. That’s where they found Miguel Adrover. He had even stopped paying the rent, he was so down and out. Now, though, they expect to see a designer in a luxury apartment he can’t possibly afford."

Gurung, who uses cashmere and wool even though industry friends told him he should make clothes like Balmain ("[Balmain's] not my voice"), had those same buyers tell him they wanted "modern fabrics."  He thought they were making excuses not to place an order, so he asked them what they meant: "They answered, 'Some kind of modern feel.' [laughing] I think they meant some kind of techy fabric."

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