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Industry Spotlight: Fashion Business Consultant Shares How to Grow a Fashion Business

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When it comes to the fashion and creative worlds, Andrea Rosenfeld has done it all. She’s a fine artist, maker, designer, educator and consultant, and has worked in various areas of the industry. With her bountiful knowledge, we couldn’t wait to pick her brain on the business of fashion.

Tell us about yourself and your history in the creative industries.

Firstly, I’d like to thank DG3 for this opportunity to discuss how I support our creative community. I admire your mission and am thrilled to be working with all of you!

After studying fine art at the University of Michigan School of Art & Design, undergrad, on a whim I transferred to the Fashion Institute of Technology in NY and into fashion design. I graduated in 1986 and while working with a large, dress company as an assistant designer for their urban collection, I noticed people working on computers in a back room, asked their purpose and was told, “merchandising.” Remember, this was the ‘80s and computers weren’t prevalent, so I was intrigued. In fact, while in fashion school, we did everything by hand. Everything.

I researched “merchandising” and realized that I HAD to learn it if I was going to begin my own label. I dove in and the next thing I knew I was the Assistant Merchandiser for Perry Ellis Portfolio Menswear! I moved from illustrating clothing, designing fabric and sourcing findings to designing spreadsheets and detailed formulas to track materials and create costs. I was in heaven. I didn’t realize how much I truly ENJOYED the organized, left brain business end of a creative business. After being there for a few years, a colleague referred me to a newer designer, Isaac Mizrahi, and I became his director of merchandising and operations. There were five of us when I started an