When A Man Needs A Woman


These days it seems that behind every cool and ambitious young designer is an equally cool and ambitious young businesswoman. Karin Nelson talks to the new generation of power brokers.

Stylist: Carolyn Tate Angel

Eugenia Gonzalez Ruiz-Olloqui, Vice President & PR Director of Michael Bastian & Assistant Designer, Women’s Wear, of Gant By Michael Bastian

Age: 29

Background: I was the public relations coordinator at Bergdorf Goodman; Michael was the men’s fashion director.

Typical day: I travel about four months out of the year, so I am constantly on the go.

Proudest accomplishment: We have been nominated for a CFDA award every year we’ve been in business and finally won it this year!

Designer’s quirk: His infamous eye roll.

Other favorite labels: Chanel, Juan Carlos Obando, Proenza Schouler, Haider Ackermann.

Current obsession: My discontinued Rumeur perfume by Lanvin. I have a back stock that will last me 10 years.

Stylist: Carolyn Tate Angel

Wen Zhou, CEO & President of 3.1 Phillip Lim

Age: 37

Background: I went to the Fashion Institute of Technology to study fashion merchandising in the evenings and worked during the day for a high-end fabric agent. Before I knew it, I owned my own fabric business. Phillip was a client of mine.

Proudest accomplishment: That we are able to play a small, but impactful, role in the lives of hundreds of Chinese seamstresses by offering them clean, safe, and happy working conditions in our factories.

Designer’s quirk: He spends way too much!

Other favorite labels: Comme des Garçons, Dries Van Noten, Lanvin.

Current obsession: BDDW furniture designer Tyler Hays.

Stylist: Carolyn Tate Angel

Caitlin DiStefano, Vice President of Communications for Prabal Gurung

Age: 29

Background: For almost five years I worked at Paul Wilmot Communications, where I met Prabal.

Typical day: I manage all media relations and work with Prabal and our director of operations on business development.

Proudest accomplishment: The fall 2010 collection was when we went from literally showing the collection in my apartment to becoming a more recognized operation.

Designer’s quirk: The random outbursts of song and dance in such a small office are always…fun.

Other favorite labels: The Row, Chanel, Céline, Monique Péan.

Current obsession: Perricone MD products.

Stylist: Carolyn Tate Angel

Tammy Kane, CEO & Creative Adviser of Christopher Kane

Age: 33

Background: I have a degree in fashion design management and have worked in retail, as an art therapist, and in a design and textile studio.

Typical day: Production, accounts, shipping, and sales, then collaborating with Christopher on his collections. The most productive time is when everyone leaves—I usually work until 9 p.m.

Proudest accomplishment: To have increased sales and staff in the economic downturn.

Designer’s quirk: Christopher draws and draws—not the worst problem, but it does leave me with the job of editing.

Other favorite labels: Versus, Versace, Miu Miu, Comme des Garçons, Balenciaga, Givenchy, Jil Sander, Céline. Current obsession: Cash flow. I never stop thinking about how I can improve it.

Stylist: Carolyn Tate Angel

Maria Borromeo, CEO & Business Partner of Thakoon

Age: 38

Background: I worked at Barneys, then with Narciso Rodriguez, Etro, and Alexander McQueen. In 2004 [retailer] Ikram Goldman introduced me to Thakoon.

Typical day: Sales, production, and finance. I then spend some quality time with my budgets.

Designer’s quirk: He is obsessed with his dog, Stevie. We go clothes shopping for her on business trips!

Other favorite labels: Junya Watanabe, Maison Martin Margiela, Lanvin, Alexander McQueen.

Current obsessions: My kids, the Scrabble app on my iPhone, the new Bon Iver album, my platform wedge Balenciaga motorcycle boots.