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Nanette Lepore Mortgaged her Parents' Home for First Store

Nanette Lepore, via Getty
Nanette Lepore, via Getty

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Last night, Nanette Lepore revealed to group of fashion hopefuls that it takes a lot of hard work and a little bit of luck to succeed in the industry—and a healthy dose of parental support doesn't hurt either. At CollegeFashionista's "Fashion from Three Perspectives" panel discussion held at FIT, the designer recalled her first-ever shop. Located in New York's East Village, it was sandwiched between a gas station and a soup kitchen where rent was only $500 a month. But the going was tough.

Lepore's father mortgaged his home to help her business, but it wasn't long until she lost all of that money and had to start from scratch. "It was ten years of really hard work for no profit and just trying to pay back the money," she said. "You have to learn that your labor is worth nothing if you work for yourself. Don't expect to pay yourself more than 50 cents an hour because that is what you're going to get." Ouch.
· All Nanette Lepore Coverage [Racked]
· Nanette Lepore Gets Intergalactic for Fall 2013 [Racked]