Tiffany Ouyang is the editor of Quality Control and writes on the topic of internships in the fashion industry. Follow her on Twitter at @underqc
Dana-Maxx Pomerantz, the designer and founder of a women’s contemporary ready-to-wear clothing line, DANA-MAXX, is a graduate from the Fashion Institute of Technology and has interned at Betsey Johnson and worked in design at Marc Jacobs and Betsey Johnson.
“Especially in our economy, it’s important to be proud of where you come from. It’s nice to be able to support American people and provide work for them,”
Dana-Maxx knew she wanted to start her own sustainable business since she was five and her goal has not wavered since. Dana-Maxx says that in order to start your business, “you have to know yourself and feel right about it…and if you put too much thought into it you’ll never start. “ Since the launch of her line in 2007, Dana-Maxx reflects on what has influenced her on her journey with DANA-MAXX.
“You never want to stop learning, but I also only want to make mistakes once”.
Dana-Maxx tried to learn as much as she could before entering into the business. The experience she gained from seeing how a medium-sized company like Betsey Johnson ran allowed her to observe the mechanics of a company. “I think you need to intern at a place that you really enjoy and where you can really learn. I [also] don’t think you should intern for the name, because it is your reflection of yourself on your resume,” said Dana-Maxx, with a delicate optimism in her voice. The designer elaborated on her real-world experience starting her own company and explained how there were so many things that take place in this business that you can’t possibly learn in school, such as what goes into a dress, RA’s, and PO’s. “You’ve got to just throw yourself in there and sink or swim.”
As a New York native, Dana-Maxx prefers her clothing to produced in her city of origin. “Especially in our economy, it’s important to be proud of where you come from. It’s nice to be able to support American people and provide work for them,” states Dana-Maxx. As a business owner she appreciates the hands-on control she can have and has pride in being an American who provides jobs for Americans. She says the only cons of producing a line in the garment district are that it is limited in certain ways. “There aren’t many American mills anymore and factories are a lot smaller, so you can only do so much production locally.”
Alongside running her own business, the Dana-Maxx outside of DANA-MAXX is always involved with the community and inspiring others. She is the on the committee for the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation and has been empowering women as an ambassador for GLAMOUR Magazine since 2011. Dana-Maxx’s goal is to become a go-to/ lifestyle brand for women in the future and she is also currently working on a line of tights in collaboration with Sculptz (also made in America) that will be coming out in the fall. The strength and the refined taste level of her mother is the designer’s greatest inspiration and has been incorporating the “empowered-woman” attitude into her line since 2007.