Q. Tells us a little about the history and future of Allison Baver Bodywear.
Although we just launched on May 5th, 2017 the brand has taken years to come to fruition and is constantly evolving. Originally it started as a licensing proposal from the #1 cheerleading and dance company in the world. When they were not able to deliver at a competitive price point for USA retail, I decided to start my own company and hired a full men’s and women’s design team in NYC. My publicist at the time introduced me to fabulous people in the fashion world and I started to learn from very high profile designers and brands. I knew I needed to submerge myself in the industry and learn every facet. I find this to be an important part of success. I visited garment and fabric making factories. Just a few weeks ago when visiting LA, I met with a zipper factory and learned how zippers are actually made.
Most fashion designers do not have the opportunity to visit fabric or hardware facilities, but I try my best to go above and beyond. It took me years to find some factories only to realize they were not the best fit because I am looking for a high performance and luxury quality work with sourcing capabilities. Trying again and again, it took me years to find the factories I am with now.
But, I was a regular at the Waldorf Astoria and W for a few years. I flew in and out of NYC countless times to meet with my team and take meetings. I went to school for business and have my MBA in Marketing and have taken a different road in the world of fashion.
After hiring a design team, I signed with an agency for the 2014 Olympics, DMA United (Designer Management Agency). We signed a few partnerships and licensing deals in a few product categories and when I failed to qualify for the 2014 Olympics all of my fashion deals were dead. I overtrained a few months before the Olympic Trials and was barely able able to race in the trials. It was a low point for me. The factories “lost” thousands of dollars of samples and I literally had nothing but expensive outdated designs on paper. THAT was a learning experience.
That is when I decided to hide in a coffee shop, work incredibly hard and force myself to do things I have never done before. I have challenged my intelligence, creativity and leadership abilities with goals of empowering my staff, team and customers. The pursuit of excellence that drove me in my Olympic career has been reborn.
We hope to scale the brand and launch a collection of my designer gym bags soon.