Design Entrepreneurs in the News: Fashion Week Roundup

Our design entrepreneurs had a strong presence at New York Fashion Week. From showing at Lincoln Center to the piers and all over the city, their spring collections were wonderful. We weren’t the only ones that noticed their talent. Take a look at just some of the clippings!

Sarah Canner featured on 


Suzanne Rae featured on 

Parke & Ronen featured on 

Soham Dave featured on 

Marlon Gobel featured on 

Q&A With Design Entrepreneur Katerina Lankova

We had a chance to sit down with Katerina Lankova, one of our design entrepreneurs to learn more about STEE-LETAS, a fun, legwear label that keeps ladies in style below the knee!

Can you tell us about your brand?
STEE-LETAS is a different kind of legwear that can serve as a substitute for boots, and keep you warm and protected from the weather. They are highly fashionable and you will be noticed once you put them on! You’ll probably also get asked questions about what they are when you wear them!

They are a great accessory between the seasons too. You can wear them when it’s cold or warm because they are made out of many different materials such as lace, leather and anything in between.

How did you get started? 
I have been sewing all my life but in 2007, I left Aspen after six years and came to NY with conscious plan to become a fashion designer. So I believe that was the start of my fashion career. I wanted to design skiwear but then when I created STEE-LETAS it changed my direction.
STEE-LETAS® were purely made out of necessity. I was sitting in my apartment at 3 a.m. with no money to spend on boots, so I made my legwear out of old stretch turtleneck and piece of a leather skirt. It worked!When I began, I was only using leather but then I thought of legs as a canvas and started using other materials and techniques such as lace, feathers, embroidery etc…The options are pretty much endless. You can use the front panel for a piece of art if you wish.
Did you go to design school? 
I did go to school for textile of manufacturing and technology back in the Czech Republic and I learned how to make clothes, but I had no idea I would become a designer. That was a process and journey, something you are given and cannot be learned. You just have to discover it within yourself. It took me a long time to find it and own it.
What’s your aesthetic?
I would say fashion forward and edgy. I believe I am innovative and also like to recycle and use materials from vintage stores to incorporate them into my designs because the end product has more personality.
Tell me about all of your lines you are currently working on?
At this moment I am mainly focusing on STEE-LETAS®, but on the side I’ve been involved with other projects such as designing costumes for music videos and dance performances.
In ski season, I also make special custom pieces for ladies in Aspen. It has always been my passion. I can make endless designs of STEE-LETAS and I can do it with my eyes closed, but to make something like ski pants gives me more of a challenge. I need that besides making something as simple as legwear. I like the intricate and tailored jackets and creating skiwear and equestrian one-of-a-kind pieces gives me feeling of true satisfaction.
But I like it all, and I love to sew. I make everything myself and don’t have a seamstress. My ideas come through while I am working on the actual piece and touching the material.
Check out more at Katerina Lankova

Q&A With Design Entrepreneur Sunghee Bang

Sunghee Bang Spring/Summer 2013

Here’s our latest chat with design entrepreneur Sunghee Bang. She describes her brand as a beautiful, quality label with an element of surprise that is for women who enjoy the luxury feel of knitwear and strong craftsmanship.

How long have you been designing? I have been designing my line for 3 years.

You started you line after attending FIT. Did you work for McQueen before or after school? I interned for Alexander McQueen right before my senior year. It was my last summer break in my life, so I wanted to experience something special. In 2008, I designed the Eiffel Tower and coil body prints for his Spring 2009 collection. Working in London with Alexander McQueen provided me with an entirely different perspective on fashion. McQueen’s approach to design showed me that there is no one-way to design.

Sunghee Bang Spring/Summer 2013

What’s your inspiration for spring/summer 13?
This season is all about sporty, versatile and easy-to-wear knits. The collection consists of minimized silhouettes with unusual twists such as combining stripes and flower prints with shiny and matte textures, creating asymmetrical silhouettes with un-matched seams along with tailored woven and soft knit shapes.

Using unique techniques and playing with perforated textures, I created 54 pieces that worked together to harmonize various ideas.

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A Visit to Accessoir’s Midtown Showroom

Aurija Petraityte, designer for Accessoir at her midtown showroom

We went to visit Aurija Petraityte, one of our designer entrepreneurs at her Midtown showroom to learn a bit more about her label Accessoir. Just three years old, the brand is split between two labels: Figaro and Fuse, her latest venture.

Aurija studied at FIT and Kaunas University of Technology in Lithuania. After school, she worked for a mass market handbag company and got a handle on the business. She decided to try it for herself and has been able to develop strong relationships with major retailers like Ross and smaller mass chains across the country.

Each season, she produces about 100 styles and updates her best sellers with new features. She spends 2-3 times a year in China to work on her designs with her factory and oversees production, sourcing and quality control.

For Aurija, the best part of her job is knowing that she can provide cute and affordable handbags to her junior/missy target. One of the biggest thrills is seeing a girl on the subway with her bag. She admits to just snapping a picture and not letting on that she’s the designer, but inside, seeing her bag on a girl makes her day!

Learn more about this New York based label at Accessoir.