Sometimes it seems like there are as many ways to sell your fashion brand as there are types of fabric! But when you’re starting a fashion brand, should you sell your pieces on consignment?
On this show, you’ll hear from Sam Murkoff. Sam’s brand, Manhattan Knights, was born when he started refashioning vintage tee shirts for himself and his friends in middle school.
Sam got his brand where it is today by starting small, leveraging the ability to sell his work on consignment, and knocking on a LOT of doors. In the interview he shares details on everything he did in the first few years of launching a fashion brand.
Despite a lifelong interest in fashion, Sam Murkoff didn’t intend to become a fashion designer. In his early teens, he cut up and reassembled shirts, infusing his own unique style into clothes for himself and his friends. When he got to college, he majored in theater and began working in luxury retail. Aside from a little screenprinting, design wasn’t really on his mind. But when he realized he needed a creative outlet, he started making shirts again. That’s when Manhattan Knights really began.
Sam quickly discovered that there was more interest in the clothes he was creating than just his inner circle. When the screen printer he’d been using encouraged him to get his work out there, he started offering his designs on consignment at small boutiques.
This first line of streetwear, which played on his private school experience and satirized some major brands, came to be known as Cease & Desist. It appealed to a niche New York audience that grew his confidence and convinced him to make a real go at launching a brand.
Since that first success, Sam has faced a steep learning curve. He’s continued to sell his work on consignment, worked with a showroom, and changed his production methods repeatedly. He’s now designing clothing that takes the sardonic humor of his early designs to a cut-and-sew line that transcends season and defies description. He’s had to pivot over and over in the process of creating a fashion brand that can actually sell. He also made one of the boldest moves we’ve heard of to publicize his fledgling label!
Through it all, Sam has kept his eye on the goal of taking his bold inspiration and irreverent sartorial attitude to a wider market, without losing the essence of where Manhattan Knights began.