Inside Fashion Design toured the Cult of Individuality showroom with Dean DerGarabedian, Sales Manager for the NYC-based street couture brand. During our chat, Dean shared some of the keys to their longevity and cult status, including their somewhat unconventional sales drop schedule, which relies on a limited number of small stores committing to buys up to a year in advance. “Sometimes growth isn’t always best for the brand image,” says DerGarabedian, focusing instead on Cult of Individuality’s coveted collabs that appeal to their niche customer. He also discusses unique issues that come with creating these smaller batch runs for a specialty store market.
About Dean: Dean has always had a love of the industry. He went to school at the University of Rhode Island for Business on a full wrestling scholarship. In a twist of fate, a chance meeting with the Dean of the Textile Department introduced him to the Merchandising program. He switched his major, landing next in the Macy’s training program. At the time, Macy’s was only accepting 300 trainees out of 1500 applicants. After Macy’s, Dean went on to work for big corporate apparel brands such as Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger. His journey included managing the once infamous Canel Jeans in NYC. Now he is enjoying his time at Cult of Individuality where he says, enthusiastically, he is having the most fun he has had in his entire career.
About the Brand: Cult of Individuality is a Contemporary denim brand. They focus on three main looks for their collection, which includes Contemporary, Rock & Roll and Salvaged Old school denim. Collaborations with musicians and celebrities are a major selling point for their brand. Currently offerings include styles designed in collaboration with King Baby Jewelry, StickTV, Whiskey a Go-Go and SE Bikes.
Cult of Individuality New York City
Deans top advice? 4 Simple Rules
Remain true to who you are. Don’t try to sell to everyone and please everyone —stay true to your niche and you will build your cult following.
Building relationships is key. Dean has built friendships over the years in the business. These are the key factor to his success. Networking is one thing, but building relationships and friendships along the way is what truly leads to success in this business.
Don’t take people out for dinner unless it’s business — but when you’re out, don’t talk business.
Love who you marry and love the job you choose. It’s how you will spend your days and who you go home to at night. You’d best love both of them!
Don’t Follow in the footsteps of others.
Make your own strides in life. Cult of