Posted on September 19 2019
We're excited to introduce you to Kimberly Barasch, founder of Altress, an online boutique created to change the status quo and offer women the power to customize their own dresses and express their authentic selves. Altress is the new, smart way to shop for dresses for every occasion. Recently we chatted with Kimberly about her career prior to launching Altress, who exactly the Altress woman is and the inspiration behind the brand.
ALLY: Tell us about yourself, what were you doing prior to launching Altress?
Kimberly Barasch: Prior to Altress, I worked nearly a decade in the apparel industry managing design, sourcing and manufacturing. After attending Cornell and Parsons, I launched my career at Nicole Miller where I worked my way up to Head of Evening & Bridal. I went on to launch the Karl Lagerfeld brand for G-III and serve as Creative Director for David Meister under the JS Group. While in the industry, my designs generated an excess of $350 million in apparel revenue.
ALLY: What inspired you to launch Altress?
Kimberly Barasch: After first-hand observing the excess inventory crisis, I decided that customization and on-demand manufacturing were the answers to breaking a cycle in which 60% of all apparel produced in 12 months goes to landfills or ends up incinerated. Our mission at Altress is to disrupt the womenswear market by delivering customizable dresses to women with rapid speed, while dramatically reducing the environmental impact of apparel manufacturing. Through Altress, we empower women to express their authentic selves through how they shop and what they wear.
ALLY: Tell us about the Altress woman?
Kimberly Barasch: An Altress is a woman who challenges the status quo to make the world a more sustainable, ethical and equitable place. She is bold and looking for a suit of armor (a kickass dress!) to help her feel even more confident while she takes over the world.
ALLY: What advice would you give a friend considering taking the plunge into entrepreneurship?
Kimberly Barasch: It’s going to take 3x as long and 3x as much money, but if you believe your product/service will disrupt the status quo to better serve consumers and the world at large – do it!
ALLY: What has been your biggest (business) obstacle to date? How did you overcome it?
Kimberly Barasch: Especially at the onset of founding my business 2 years ago, my biggest obstacle has been convincing those ingrained in what they know there can be a better and different way of doing things. My persistence has taught me to never let other people’s doubts knock my vision, and that if you don’t ask for something, you won’t receive it.
ALLY: Favorite quote?
Kimberly Barasch: If you see something is broken, fix it.