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Truman Says

Fashion Q&A: The Boys of VBN

Do you approach designing for women differently than designing for men? Is yes, how so?
Kirk: Womenswear is a bit different since it moves so quickly. The colors, textures, details tie the men's and womens together, yet the womens line is much more modern following what's on the runways and trending

Do you have any advice to offer for people who want to design?
Eric: Start "drawling".
Kirk: If you're going to peruse any type of design, just know it's an extremely competitive field and you have to be willing to expose yourself and ideas to critics on a daily basis. The more inexperienced you are the more you will be shot down. Fashion is not an easy route and the more you become involved the more technical and complicated it becomes. It's not all about design and sketching.

What is an average day for you like? How much is spent designing versus other tasks? What about running a small business has surprised you?
Devon: Depends on the day...early morning surfs, late afternoon sailing, happy hour, oh, and 100 hour-work weeks! Nothing surprises me in business anymore -- that's the fun of running your own business -- it's filled with surprises.
Eric: I'm plugged into a phone or computer all day long, unless I'm demanding our intern army to bring us lunch and Arnie Palmers. I'm surprised that the barter system is alive and thriving -- I'll trade you one shirt for two VBN quotes.
Kirk: Even at JV, where everyone is responsible a broad range tasks, I took for granted that the entire team you have working with you is dividing up the work. There's really only three of us at VBN, at the core. Soon after starting down this path you realize you have to do absolutely everything. The good part with doing everything is the job never get boring, plus we get to do whatever we want and head-off to the mountain while most people are at work.

Where would you like to see yourself and your company in five years?
Devon: I would like to see us still here doing what we do: having fun, drinking margs, making clothes, and giving back.
Eric: On a bigger sailboat.
Kirk: I want to be doing what I'm doing now, running a clothing line, but with a larger team and a broader reach. I hope that someday our clothing line is as much a clothing line as environmental movement and a supporter of young fine artists.

For more information on VBN, visit their website.

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