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Buried in a fantastic interview with J Brand founder Susie Crippen on the Imogene+Willie website is this delicious tidbit about Crippen's new fashion label, RKC. Though she doesn't unveil many details about what J Brand fanatics can expect from the new line—okay, there are basically zero details about what the clothes will actually look like—she does reveal that she's 100% owner and CEO—and works out of her garage.
When I started working on ideas for the new company, I came up with a huge, elaborate business plan. I took it to my financial advisors and my lawyer, and they all looked at me like I was crazy. I said, “What? I had this really huge, great company and now I’m going to start this other really huge, great company.” They told me I’d never get enough investor money at this point, and that I had to find ways to cut my budget. One of them said, “Wait a minute: Don’t all really great projects start in the garage?” So I turned my garage into an office for RKC.RKC currently seems to employ about four people—Crippen says: "Right now, I’m literally sitting in my house, looking out into my office, watching my staff work. We have four chairs in there now and they’re all filled; we can fit two more, max."
And she's working with Italian mills and manufacturers—"We’ve all started taking Italian lessons together." And even though she says she's made enough money to never have to work again—Crippen walked away from J Brand three months ago—she still wants in on the fashion conversation. "I’ve found something that I absolutely love to do, and I’m going to do it," Crippen says. "I want to be in a continued conversation with contemporary society. And this company is my voice; this is how I communicate. To take it away is to take away my self-expression. And I have a lot more I want to say."
· Our voice: Susie Crippen [Imogene+Willie]