Frisky Q&A: “Fashion Show” Winner Anna McCraney Strikes Out On Her Own
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I’ve been teaching fashion on the college level, but really settled on the fact that I wanted to open a retail location for my collection. I researched where would be the best place and what it would cost me -- and figured it would make more sense than relying on buyers to pick up my line.
So what's Annabelle--the collection and the store--all about?
For spring and summer, there's tons of bright, bright color. Lots of silks and ikat prints and really fun feminine easy day-to-night dresses. I like to make things that are versatile because that’s what I wear. And I’m super picky about fabric. The fabric has to be nice. Everything in the line is made in New York. When I started the store, I really strove to make everyone happy. A girl can try on clothes and her boyfriend can look at art books. It’s cool because the girl doesn’t feel rushed. We also say it’s like going shopping with your friend. We’ll tell you exactly what we think. We’re not going to have you walk out of here in something that doesn’t look or fit right.
What do you think is the biggest misconception about the fashion industry?
The biggest misconception that it’s easy or brainless or that just because you’re a creative person you can be a business owner. There’s so much more to it than just being a designer. So many designers don’t care enough about their customers or what their customers want. They’re more concerned with having their stuff in a magazine than making customers happy.
Right. And because you're selling to real people and not simply trying to fit models, it seems a lot more complicated.
What people don’t realize is that you have to have new merchandise constantly. Fit is also major issue. Every style is meticulously fit to accommodate the most numbers of bodies. The planning is insane. I still have another job AND I run the store.
What do you love most about having your own store?
The most rewarding part is when people come in and talk about how beautiful the clothes are. It’s why I started doing it in the first place. The best thing is when a girl comes in in her sweats and tries on something and she’s grinning from ear to ear. The other thing is that it’s not about what size it is, it’s about what looks right on you.
Keep clicking to check out eight gorgeous pieces from Anna's collection!