24 Hours Later: Holly E. Thomas of Refinery29


(Last week we brought together 9 panelists who are catalysts for a bigger and better DC fashion community (read more about The Future of DC Fashion panel). We’ve asked our panelists to give us their post-panel thoughts on where the industry is going and what we can do to help grow it.)

Holly E. Thomas is the Editor for the brand new DC contingent of the national style blog Refinery29. Holly is also a co-founder of the DC retail and design collective Butler + Claypool.

 There are two key points that I think independent designers in D.C. have to realize in order to be successful: First, that it’s not enough to design a collection — you have to actually produce it, which is a major impediment here because of the scarcity of resources and the high cost of supplies. Networking with other designers is a good way to share resources, supplies, and ideas, and networking with bloggers and store owners will help get your products in front of a wide audience. It’s so easy to get comfortable in a creative bubble, but you really have to be your own advocate if you want to succeed. And second, every designer needs a business plan — and to that end, a business partner. Even if it’s just a savvy friend/family member, a designer needs someone who can constructively criticize his/her ideas and provide sound advice about their viability. And it’s my personal wish that the city would make an effort to utilize more of the empty storefronts that are so plentiful in D.C. — there’s no reason why there shouldn’t be a “temporium” of some sort every weekend, and I can’t understand why building owners should be allowed to neglect buildings and contribute to urban blight just because properties are expensive to maintain. There’s an angle here that the city can use to get involved and create an incentive for building owners to collaborate with artists and contribute to cultural and creative growth in the District.”

2 responses to “24 Hours Later: Holly E. Thomas of Refinery29”

  1. dcscorpiongirl says :

    that’s really excellent advice. I like her recommendation about opening up more storefronts to designers.

  2. Morgan Jordan says :

    Thanks for this insight! I love what she’s doing with Refinery 29.


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