Curious about what it takes to really make it in the fashion industry?
We tapped creative director Christian Stroble to get the scoop on how he got his start with men's fashion line, Stroble New York, and asked all of the probing questions an aspiring fashionista should know before plunging into the fast-paced and competitive world of design.
Here's what he shared with us:
How did you get started in the fashion business?
In 2004, I launched my first brand (along with a partner) called Eventide, a women's ready-to-wear label. In 2008, I went on hiatus and I put the design career on hold. It wasn't until the last year that I felt it was time to pursue my dream of creating a mens accessory line. There's not a lot of great options out there for men and I felt I had the vision to fill that void.
Stroble New York was realized when my friend and now business partner Danny Mcguiness said he wanted a custom made bag. After I showed him a few sketches, he became my angel investor, and from there Stroble New York was born.
What is a typical day like for you?
None of my days are typical! Since I am juggling being a freelance stylist and now adding in my bag line, the days are filled. For example, today I started at 7 a.m. with meditation, then some eggs over at 11th Street Cafe. Then, back to the home/office to go over the day with my assistant, running off to my sample maker Walid to check on some new samples, then off to my jeweler who is making custom hardware. Then to see a PR showroom to pull some clothing for my up-and-coming editorial and ad jobs. Getting to work with rock n' roll photographer legend Mick Rock, then back to the office to meet with a photographer to go over wardrobe for the shoot...and finally, back on to the e-mails to make sure everything is coming in!
Tell us about your office décor or inspiration.
I live and work from home in the West Village, so the space really feels like old New York. Our apartment is a spacious loft that faces the Hudson River, with lots of light and high ceilings. One of our walls is covered with a collage of framed black and white photos from famous and iconic photographers, including my partner Matthew Brookes. I would say old New York with a mid-modern touch…rustic with a Parisian edge.
Describe your office style. What do you typically wear to work?
I would say it's a New Yorker's uniform—black from head to toe.
Where do you shop for work clothes?
I shop anywhere from Barneys New York (when they have their famous annual sales!) and thrift stores around Soho and Williamsburg.
What are your favorite brands of accessories?
Stroble, of course!
My favorite thing in my office/on my desk is: My kitty
The best part of my job is…Every day is a different day!
What is your guilty pleasure?
Cookies, just call me the cookie monster! But now, atleast I eat gluten-free ones.
What is the best piece of advice you've ever received?
Make sure everything is in writing.
What are your travel must-haves?
A really good book, my sketch pad, my Stroble carry-on and a comfy sweater...I"m pretty easy to travel with!
If I wasn't doing this job, I would be…As for work this is all I know. If I wasn't working, I'd be lying on a beach somewhere.
Can you share some advice for aspiring designers?
You really have to love what you do and put your all in to it so that your craft is the best it can be. Always be kind and respectful to everyone you meet along the way.
(Originally published Dec. 2, 2013 at 1:39 p.m. PT)