Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Something Out of Nothing

Ah Coterie. So.....for those of you who might not know what it is, the Coterie is a huge trade show where (it seems) every contemporary label in the world hawks their wares to buyers who fly in from everywhere from Kansas to Korea. There are hundreds of companies that participate, so booth location and branding can be crucial for getting buyers to take a look at your clothes. Once they're in the booth, the clothes better be good enough to hold their attention, but getting them into the booth is half the battle. So imagine my devastation when Stephanie (Gryphon's sales director) and I arrived at the show location to help set up the booth and found that we were in Siberia. 

On the floorplan, the spot looked great - right next to bigger companies (who generate tons of traffic) like DVF, Theory and Iisli. But in actuality, we were facing the back end of their enormous, custom-made booths, giving us zero visibility. The show was due to start in less than 16 hours and there seemed to be no solution available! Retail is hurting everywhere, stores are buying less, I agonized over this collection to make it something I could be proud of and no one was going to see it, much less buy it. 

But as I said in my first post, the devastating lows of being a garmento often come side by side with the insane highs. After getting home and pouring myself a very generous glass of wine (don't worry, I don't drink alone. My husband and our friend Glen also poured themselves generous glasses of wine), I was feeling better and had a wine-soaked positive attitude about what the next day at Coterie would bring. But, there's a twist. A very, very good twist. I get a call from the incredibly generous, miracle-working Andrew Rosen (founder and CEO of Theory, and one of my business partners). Andrew tells me to get back to the show site because he'd put into motion, a plan to cure our booth woes. 

Enter David Flatt. The brilliant and resourceful Mr. Flatt builds furniture....and amazing custom booths for companies exhibiting at shows like Coterie. He always builds the Gryphon booth, but this time, HE CREATED A BOOTH OUT OF NOTHING AT ALL. Out of thin air (with Andrew's blessing), he carved us a space out of the front of the Theory booth. He punched a hole out of the front wall of the Theory booth and built us a little space that looked like it was always meant to be there. 

Gryphon owes Andrew and David a HUGE thank you because this was our best Coterie show ever. We had incredible traffic throughout the show and booked our most sales at a show in the history of the company! When I came home after the first day at the show, exhausted and elated, my husband asked me how it went and I burst into tears because I was so emotional/tired/relieved. It totally freaked my husband out, until he realized I was happy, not sad. And a special thanks must also go to Graziella, who works for David and held my hand through the whole process.

Gryphon's guardian angels: David and Graziella.
We heart them. Aren't they the cutest?

me, at 1am half asleep while David's industrious team finishes building the booth.

The finished booth (that's Stephanie in the printed dress)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Moustache Hanger

You may have noticed from the pictures I posted earlier of the showroom, that we hang a lot of odds and ends on our walls. In our tiny office downstairs, I asked my husband to do it because I figured he was the only person who would be willing to bear with me as I adjusted, ruminated and configured the order and height of everything. He graciously offered to re-live that gratifying experience and hang the stuff in the new space, but I felt too guilty. There's a lot more to hang and he'd have had to have spent all night on a week night in the office with me because he does have a day job and I was shooting the look book over the weekend. What to do?? Louie to the rescue! Louie came and spent 2 entire days with us and waited between each and every frame, mirror, seafan, and antique hanger for me to decide where each item was going to live. He has the patience of a saint and a sense of humor too! We love Louie and are forever grateful for his patience and his skill with a hammer and picture wire.

Louie with one of my antique clothing hangers. How cute is he?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


We've just started market, but received our first confirmed order of the season! Cara and her mum from C. See Boutique came by for an appointment. Usually stores will take notes on what they like in an appointment but won't send in their purchase order until after they've had a chance to see their other lines and assess their budgets. Especially now, in this economy, stores are being more cautious than ever and taking their time writing orders, but the lovely ladies from 
C. See just left us our first sale for F09! 

Completely unrelated to how we feel about their great order, they are 2 of the coolest, cutest buyers we know. Cara, who I met for the first time last season always has on something covetable. Last time she saw the line, I was obsessing over her Chloe boots. I had borrowed the same style from a friend for my look book shoot 2 weeks prior to meeting Cara and no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't work them into the shoot. They just never quite worked. But they totally worked with Cara's upscale rock chick look. This time, she was wearing a knitted Temperely dress covered in sew-on snaps - so simple but so cool....a little fetishy, but less obvious than studding. See below, some pictures from our appointment. 

the c. see girls

Cara trying on Gryphon's velvet smoking jacket

perusing the racks

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Settling In


We finally have signage - though I do still bury the lead a little.

We're completely moved in now! It's been a hectic week here at Gryphon - we moved into the new space and only partially set up shop. We kept things partly packed up so we could shoot the look book here (more on that later). Then, we set the showroom up because my business partner was coming to see the new collection. After our meeting, we packed up again to throw a party for the fabulous hair and makeup artist Alexa Rodulfo (more on that later too). Then, we set up for real in order to open the line for sales. We've just started market for sales, so the showroom and office is finally up and running. Although I still have a lot of unpacking and organizing to do....but I'll save that for another day.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Office Max

There are a lot of new things happening here at Gryphon - this blog included. We've just moved from our teeny tiny (but lovably cozy) 1 room studio to a beautiful, new office/showroom. It's sun-drenched, with soaring ceilings, over-looking Bryant Park, with a lovely, little balcony. To be fair, our old space was also sun-drenched with soaring ceilings, over-looking Bryant Park.....just much, much more intimate (and messy). See pics below of the old mess and the new empty space. More images of the new space up and running, to come later.

gryphon's old , cozy office

the new space, newly renovated and without all my crap

Meet Gryphon

Welcome to Gryphon's new blog. Ever wondered about the day to day workings of a small fashion company? I did, before I started one. I still wonder what other small fashion companies are like. Are they like ours? Do they have the insane highs we do (350 unit sequin tank re-order in a recession!!!) and the devastating lows (974 belts stuck in customs, came this close to ruining our first Spring delivery)? Are they more organized than we are? Are they less emotional? I can't answer those questions for other companies, but this blog will be my forum for answering your questions about how we do things here at Gryphon......always a little frenzied, sometimes a little grumpily and hopefully, with a sense of humor. And if no one out there is interested, at least my mom will know where to find out what I've been up to.