Theory President and all around New York fashion business guru Andrew Rosen is the subject of a lengthy Wall Street Journal profile detailing his rise to success–from learning the apparel business ropes from his “garmento” father to co-founding Theory with Elie Tahari to investing in other successful brands like Proenza Schouler and Rag & Bone. In it, Anna Wintour declares, “We don’t have a Gucci or LVMH in this country, but in his own way, Andrew is creating a kind of American equivalent.”
She’s probably right, and not just because she’s Anna Wintour and that means she has to be. Where the Europeans have succeeded in building huge luxury brands, Rosen succeeds in building huge contemporary ones. Though, after purchasing a large stake in Proenza last summer, he told WWD, “We believe that the Proenza business is the future of American luxury, and uniquely poised to compete in a global marketplace, which is currently dominated by European designers.” In one of many statements of glowing praise for Rosen (people just seem to genuinely like and respect him), Lazaro Hernandez told the Journal, “I mean, we hang out. If we wanted to be employees, we would have gone to one of the big vacant houses of Europe.” (Hmmm…we wonder which one?)
Rosen also mentions that he hopes to make New York City a “center for tailored, sophisticated clothing” that is actually made in New York City. He’s working with the New York City Economic Development Corporation on a way to increase design and manufacturing in Manhattan via a “state-of-the-art building with manufacturing, cutting, sewing, sample making all together—that’s what they do in China.” If there’s anyone who could do it, it’s probably him.