Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

St. Louis Designer Knows Odds Are against Him; Everything Is Going Right for Paulie Gibson, and It's Still Hard

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

St. Louis Designer Knows Odds Are against Him; Everything Is Going Right for Paulie Gibson, and It's Still Hard

Article excerpt

Even after fashion designers have shown at multiple fashion weeks, made sales to major outlets, garnered critical praise and developed the designs they'll produce a year from now, it's still hard to quit their day job.

Producing a line of clothing is much more than sewing a few garments and hanging out the for sale sign.

It's a colossal enterprise of strategic planning, garment manufacturing, quality control, distribution and creativity.

This is all made more difficult by the fact that most designers start solo or with a handful of partners and believers to contribute to the effort.

Paulie Gibson wants to know if you'll believe in him.

He has a Fundable campaign, another website that asks the public to contribute to fledgling businesses in exchange for tokens of appreciation, limited-edition products, discounted items and various perks.

Gibson is looking to raise $10,000 to launch his next season of apparel, but if he doesn't raise all the funds by his deadline, he gets nothing.

Review the details of his contemporary menswear line at fundable.com/pauliegibson.

Gibson says he got the spark to be a fashion designer at the age of 4 when he went shopping with his nanny, who was also a designer and seamstress.

Over the years, he's fallen in and out of love with fashion design. But something happened with the "Bang, Bang" collection he debuted in August. It aptly made a bang, garnering attention and accolades.

Since then, Gibson has shown at Phoenix Fashion Week, Los Angeles Fashion Week and St. Louis Fashion Week. In Phoenix he won an emerging designer contest, and his line of more than 200 pieces was picked up by popular online retailer Zappos.com, which is currently finalizing its order.

Gibson was also embraced by some Los Angeles stylists excited about daring, colorful menswear. His clothing has been worn on magazine covers and will be making appearances on prime time television. His Los Angeles show was taped by "America's Next Top Model," and Hollywood and music industry people have been or will be strutting the red carpet in Gibson's clothing.

His chief executive officer, Michal Abney, based in Los Angeles, handles matters from the coast.

But thanks to the expansion of a local manufacturing business, Gibson is producing his clothing here in St. Louis at Moxi Enterprises on South Vandeventer. That was an important connection because now Gibson has direct contact with the people sewing his garments. He'd previously explored manufacturing in South Africa, Los Angeles or New York because he was concerned not just about the quality of his garments but the quality of the lives of the people making his items. …

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