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Style Pooh-Bah Q&A: Patrick Robinson Talks PASHKO

March 24, 2013

Celebrated American fashion designer Patrick Robinson has recently kicked off his design ambitions to launch a new collection, PASHKO. The luxury active-wear and lounge brand for women and men reflects Robinson’s approach to life and his collection, hence the word PASHKO, which means “passion” in ancient Greek.

The designer’s innovative plan and sleek basic design aesthetic comes as no surprise. With a resume that boats such positions as Design Director for Giorgio Armani in Milan, Senior Vice President of Design, Merchandising and Marketing for Anne Klein, Creative Director of Perry Ellis Women’s Sportswear, Artistic Director for Paco Rabanne, the Executive VP of Design for Gap Adult and gapbody and now Creative Director of A|X Armani Exchange – Robinson is on the pulse of knowing what it takes to build and sustain a fashion brand.

Making its debut this past week on  Kickstarter.com, Robinson plans on having consumers involved in every step of production of the collection. Through monthly customer ‘collaborations’, PASKHO.com promises to carry newness in the collection with items retailing for $45 to $300 a piece. Well, his business model of literally letting customers have a say about what will be sold to them caught my attention, so naturally, I had to find out more from the designer with a Q&A.

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Naima Turner: As a successful designer, what is it about the art and concept of design that gives you that continuous burst of passion – hence the meaning of your latest collection, PASKHO?

Patrick Robinson: Dialogue with my consumers and hearing their feedback, is the fuel that keeps me going.  My true passion is making clothes that connect with people, clothes for those who lead an active lifestyle like me.

Naima Turner: What inspired you to launch your collection PASKHO?

Patrick Robinson: I have been working on this line for the past two years.  The idea really came to me from my own lifestyle here in NYC.  A typical day for me includes dropping my son off at school, going to work, going to the gym and then heading back to work etc.  I personally want to wear clothing that is both comfortable and stylish and also makes sense for all of these daily activities – the result was PASKHO.

Naima Turner:  How would you describe the ideal PASKHO woman and man?

Patrick Robinson: PASKHO encapsulates lounge, active wear and urban clothing – geared towards to athlete and/or people who lead an active lifestyle. These are pieces to work out in but also hang out in. They’re multifunctional; you could go to the gym or run errands and still look put together.

Naima Turner:  With the launch of your new collection, you are encouraging customers to give feedback related to what items will be produced – what made you want to take this approach?

Patrick Robinson: Launching a fashion collection today is very different than it was five years ago and this is the way I believe fashion is moving. Dialogue with customers has historically been an afterthought with brands dictating the product, trends and the message.  Today the process is morphing into a much more interactive conversation, which I believe is critical to a brand’s health–not just financially, but in all aspects.  Kickstarter allows me to do that as well as apply feedback to the process.  Kickstarter is not only one of the most innovative platforms for funding today but also instrumental in creating awareness amongst influences.

Additionally through these monthly collaborations on PASKHO.com, customers will be invited to vote on new products. If critical mass is not achieved, the product will not be made which will reduce waste and excess inventory.

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Naima Turner:  For aspiring designers looking to launch their own brand, what word of advice or wisdom would you give?

Patrick Robinson: As I mentioned, the fashion industry is changing, and I feel that it is important to be a part of that change. Dialogue with customers has always been an afterthought but today with social media and blogs we are able to have a more interactive conversation with them, which I believe is critical to a brands health.

Interested in helping Patrick Robinson meet his goal? Visit Kickstarter.com

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