What inspired you to become a designer?
I was inspired to become a designer because of frustration with designers when I was a salesperson for multi collections. I wanted to change the cycle.
When was your first industry experience and how did it impact you?
My first experience in the industry was when I sold a large system to computer to a clothing manufacturer and from that they hired me as control of the company.
What was your first job out of college, and how did you land that position?
My first job out of college was selling large systems computers for Burroughs Corp.
What did you wear to your first job interview?
At my first job interview, I believe I wore a suit.
If you could give yourself advice before beginning your career, what would it be?
One of the most important pieces of advice I would go back and give myself is to look for a mentor.
What was the toughest circumstance you overcame when just starting out your business?
Dishonesty and uneducated people in the clothing industry were the toughest circumstances I had to overcome while I was starting out with my own business.
“Nothing else matters than when our customers get complimented wearing one of our pieces, that is fashion.”
Was starting your business a smooth journey? If not, what were some of the struggles?
It was not a smooth journey to start. The main struggles I had to deal with were being under-capitalized as well as unexperienced.
What is one thing you look for when interviewing a potential candidate for your company?
The most important quality a potential candidate could have is passion. Passion is everything.
How is working in fashion different today than from when you started out?
I believe that the fashion industry has stayed the same from when I began this journey.
How do you define fashion?
Nothing else matters than when our customers get complimented wearing one of our pieces, that is fashion.
How would you describe your personal style?
My personal style is different, yet tasteful.
What was your biggest fear when going out and starting your own line?
When I was starting my line, money was the biggest fear I had to overcome.
What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
My biggest strength is my taste and design. The weakness I face is finding the best sales people for my brand.
“When the consumer buys your clothes and says you are her favorite, that is success in my book."
What is your favorite part about being a designer?
When I am designing, I get to create my own form of art that I can share with my customers. That is my favorite part.
How do you want your buyer to feel when wearing your clothes?
The most important feeling I want a Ciao Milano customer to feel when wearing my pieces is that she made the best choice in wearing my collection.
What does “success” mean to you?
When the consumer buys your clothes and says you are her favorite, that is success in my book.
Where do you draw inspiration from for your designs?
I draw my design inspiration from inside my head.
Are you passionate about something other than fashion?
Writing and music are my two other passions.
There’s so much pressure for designers to come out with their greatest collection season after season. What advice would you give to young designers just starting out and hoping to make it in the industry?
The biggest piece of advice I can give to a new designer is to shop your head off!
What inspired you to name your brand?
Milan was the main inspiration behind the name of my brand.
What has been your biggest accomplishment to date?
I think the biggest accomplishment so far would be producing 93 colors in the same style.
If you could visit one place in the entire world, where would it be and why?
I would want to visit Milan and Ukraine – They have the highest taste in the world!