Have you ever wanted a behind-the-scenes look into the life of a fashion designer? Are you curious how they balance the personas of their public life and personal lives? What are the benefits of partnerships as a fashion designer in business?
In today’s episode, I am joined by Marcelo Giacobbe, the founder and designer of Giacobbe, a womenswear line based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Giacobbe is defined by its refined femininity, craftsmanship, and custom-embroidered fabrics, unique attention to detail, which can be seen in every collection.
I originally met Marcelo during his New York Fashion Week debut — it was a moment I’ll never forget! He is now going on 10 years in the fashion industry. I am thrilled to talk with him today as we discuss his life as an entrepreneur, where he finds inspiration, and how he creates different personas as a fashion designer and individual.
The featured finance term in today’s episode is Partnership, a formal arrangement by two or more parties who are seeking to manage and operate a business and share in its profits. Partnership is defined often by the Founder / Co-Founder dynamic, but can take more forms in both how we view equity partners (i.e. partners who invest capital in a business in exchange for a share of ownership) or debt financing partners (who lend a business funds for a guaranteed payback) as well as vendors and team members – all who form the structure of partnership around a small business owner.
Read more finance tips and tricks HERE.
When Marcelo initially started his line back in 2012, he was looking for a challenge on a personal level. After finishing school, he traveled to Europe where he decided he wanted to do runway shows to showcase his work. He believes the universe heard his calling because when he returned to Argentina, he was selected to participate in a few runway shows.
It was a very different world in 2012. He recalls how in the beginning it was important to be in magazines, but now technology has made a huge revolution in terms of his career and opportunities.
His success in Argentina led him to present his collection in New York Fashion Week, which is where our paths first crossed.
He says that life is magical and can give you opportunities, but you must be mindful of what you create with those opportunities. It is always important to have a goal in mind. Just know that the way you get to that goal may be different than you ever imagined. You must be creative and resourceful with what you are creating and learn how to face both good and bad moments in life.
When Marcelo initially began his career, his partners were his family. He says that true partners are the people he trusts because they know the hard work that is involved with the fashion industry. They have to be the ones who will guide you and help you grow.
Having partners has taught him the importance of knowing your own core values. Through the years, he has learned that the right opportunity will eventually come. Sometimes you have to wait for them, and he says you will not disappear if you don’t jump at every opportunity.
Most importantly, he says it is okay to turn down a partnership if it doesn’t feel right. You also shouldn’t let the difficulties of having a bad partner make you not trust people.
At his core, Marcelo is a private and shy person who prefers working over going out. He admits it is strange when people recognize him in public because his work feels so intimate to him. However, the reality is, his designs are everywhere.
Becoming a public figure has forced him to create several different personas. It is sometimes difficult to differentiate the different parts of his life, but creating different images is key for stability. He also acknowledges the importance of setting boundaries.
In fashion, when things go wrong, you have to keep working. When things go right, you have to work even harder. You have to create a persona and wear a superman suit, and you must learn how to give as well as when to take.
It is important to understand the difference between things that deserve your time and things that are simply time-consuming. There are some things that are time-consuming that are just not worth it, like a five-hour meeting for instance. Then there are other things that take time and you have to put in the work. Learning the difference between these is key to success.