Speaker Series Recap: Amanda Curtis of 19th Amendment

By Kate Duggan
Photos: Elise Borja

DSC_0933Fashion designer and entrepreneur Amanda Curtis joined Haute Fashion at the general meeting on Sept. 24 to talk about her journey that leads up to her company 19th Amendment’s launch on Sept. 28.

After completing her undergrad at Boston University, Amanda went on to study at Parsons The New School for Design in New York City. It was there where Amanda spent one year learning about the world of fashion design and honing her skills to become a designer—something she had always aspired to be.

Following her year at Parsons, Amanda took the opportunity to work with Richie Rich for his first New York Fashion Week show and was lucky enough to dress Ellen DeGeneres. Soon after, Amanda began working for DVF and then moved to Maggy London.

It was through this exposure to different companies that Amanda saw how truly broken the fashion industry was. The industry was filled with thousands of talented designers who were all trying to break into the industry, but as Amanda put it, they were “starving artists.”

Amanda’s Cinderella moment came when she responded to an ad on Craigslist to design a dress. Little did she know that that project would lead to a substantial financial investment and the founding of a start-up! Amanda became head designer at Alistair Archer where her designs made it to the final round of judging for London Fashion Week.

Failing to get picked up by buyers at London Fashion Week, Amanda began to see how the fashion industry had lost the aspect of DSC_0932art. She spoke to Haute Fashion on her experiences as a designer and how expensive it is to break the industry. For many, they never see a financial return.

Buyers are not willing to buy designs until there is proven success — but how can designers prove demand if they can’t get their products in store? It was then that the concept of 19th Amendment was born.

19th Amendment is an online start-up that allows designers to showcase their designs on one platform. The site offers designers a platform on which to showcase their designs and prove to fashion buyers that there is a market and demand for their product in stores. Customers browse the site and then purchase an outfit that is custom-tailored for them!

19th Amendment contracts U.S. manufacturers to make these pieces and then splits the revenue with designers. Amanda is working with her team at 19th Amendment to bring manufacturing back to the States by only contracting these American manufacturing companies.

19th Amendment also provides manufacturers with a steady stream of orders to produce rather than being idle for six months at a time, as is the norm in the fashion industry, Amanda said.

If you are intrigued by 19th Amendment’s concept, then you are in luck! This Saturday, Sept. 28, the wait will be over. Amanda and her colleagues are inviting you to attend their launch, taking place as a series of “flash” shows around Boston. The schedule is as follows:
5:30 p.m. – By CVS on Newbury Street
6:30 p.m. – The Shops at Prudential Center
7:30 p.m. – Faneuil Hall
8:30 p.m. – Official launch at Liberty Hotel (Invite only, 21+)

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