At 27, Dana-Maxx Pomerantz is quickly building herself into a fashion icon. From the heart of NYC, her line “maxximizes” the bold and the edgy consumer ready to take on any forum . Here is the evolving story of Dana- Maxx:
FBE: What influenced the launch of Dana-Maxx?
DM: Ever since I was a little girl I always wanted to be a fashion designer. I use to have a pretend store setup in my bedroom. My customers were my stuffed animals and I would sit and sketch clothing for them and take orders. Who knew that is exactly what I would be doing 20 years later! Fashion was always in my blood- I would sleep it, eat it, and dream it. I could not wait to make that dream a reality one day.
FBE: Are you an independent designer?
DM: Yes, I am an independent designer. Although I could not make everything happen without a huge team of people- individuals such as family, manufacturers, fabric vendors, publicist, technical designers, sales reps, and interns!
FBE : What’s your background in fashion and design? What formal schooling and/or jobs have helped your career?
DM: I took fashion design classes in high school and took Saturday Live classes during high school at the Fashion Institute of Technology. I graduated from FIT with a Bachelor degree of Fine Arts. While I was in college, I interned at the ever impressive Betsey Johnson and was hired soon thereafter in design. As I prepared to launch my line, Dana-Maxx, I worked in design at Marc Jacobs. Every experience from my classes in high school to working in design at Marc, really helped me to hone the necessary skills to launch my own line.
FBE: What would you say makes your fashions unique when compared to other lines in the fashion industry?
DM: When I am designing, I always keep a particular woman in mind; she is fearless, fun, flirty, a bit edgy, and chic. She pays very close attention to detail and loves feeling special in whatever she wears. She wants the best quality and styling, but does not have the means to afford a $1,000 dress. The line is made in the USA at a reasonable price point!
FBE: Who is Dana- Maxx designed for?
DM: The Dana-Maxx consumer is fun, flirty, and chic! She ranges in age from 20-45 and wants to feel amazing no matter what her age. She shops for her age, but dresses according to her mood.
FBE: Who/ what personally inspires your designs?
DM: Anything and everything inspires me! Each season prior to starting a collection I come up with a theme. I never know what the theme will be, and then suddenly I have a creative epiphany, and it just comes to me. I then create a mood board which helps me to stay focused on the styling, details, and silhouettes per collection. Then I begin to sketch until I am confident that I want my label on that particular design.
-More Dana-Maxx fashions when you read more…
FBE: Have you endured any challenges in the fashion industry?
DM: You have to have very thick skin in this industry. People will slam the door in your face over and over again, so it’s important to remain positive, surround yourself with people who support you, and believe in yourself and your product. Of course with the economy the way it is now, that adds a whole other challenge. Buyers can’t move what’s in the store, so their not ordering, and consumers aren’t purchasing. Now is the time to think outside of the box and find creative ways to sell your goods.
FBE: Has Dana-Maxx been affected by the recent economic setback? If so, what have you implemented to derive from it?
DM: It’s a very tough time and anyone who says it’s not is not being truthful. The economy definitely has effected my company, but I am fortunate where I have a small business, so I don’t have the pressures that large companies have. Right now I am re-examining my focus. It use to be to sell, sell, sell, which worked a year ago. Now, I am focused on building the proper brand exposure so when the economy does pick up again, people will know the line and want it. Also, selling directly to the consumer, instead of through the stores, has been more productive and rewarding in this economy.
FBE: Have you worked with any well known individuals or companies?
DM: Yes, Betsey Johnson and Marc Jacobs– both equally fantastic companies.
FBE: Do you have any exciting upcoming projects in the works?
DM:A month ago we had an exclusive fashion preview event at Greenhouse hosted by Janell Snowden (the red carpet host of VH1) . Then we are working on an in-store event with Glitter Girl, a store we sell to in California. Then it’s off to the Hamptons where we are having an exclusive event selling directly to consumers. A lot is going on, thank goodness!
FBE: Have you been featured (or published) on television or any other media?
DM:The line has been featured in media including newspapers such as WWD, online fashion blogs, online magazines, live interviews, and television such as VH1.
FBE: What would you say your biggest accomplishment has been?
DM: That’s a tough question. I think my biggest accomplishments thus far have been finding the strength to face my fears of the unknown, launch my line, and not be afraid of failure. Having your own company is not for the weak minded or the lazy- it’s a 24 hour job where failure sometimes seems to occur more frequently than success, especially when you are first starting out. My motto is that you have to make things happen in life, not let them, so that’s exactly what I’m trying to do.
FBE: Currently, who is your favorite designer?
DM: My favorite designer has always been Christian Lacroix because of his use of color and detail. His work is creative and magnificent!
FBE: Who or what can you credit to be the driving force that motivates you and your dreams?
DM: I can credit myself for my tenacity and passion, my mom for her sense of strength and faith in me, and my dad for his sense of determination and his ability to overcome failure in his life. What drives me to succeed is the motivation to want to be able to give back to my parents one day for all they have ever given to me.
FBE: Where do you see Dana-Maxx in the next five years?
DM: In the next five years I see the line growing into more of a household name. I see the line expanding and gaining a real loyal consumer base.
FBE: What comes to your mind when talking to young entrepreneurs?
DM: Learn, learn, learn- never stop learning and evolving. And don’t let anyone try and stop you from achieving your dreams because the only person who will actually stop you is yourself.