- Markarian is luxurious style model finest identified for dressing Jill Biden in the course of the 2021 inauguration.
- To Insider, O’Neill talks profession beginnings and enterprise ambitions.
- That is a part of Insider’s entrepreneur collection Star Rising which highlights early entrepreneurs.
Surname: Alexandra O’Neill
Location: New York Metropolis, New York
Enterprise: A luxurious style line impressed by the whimsical parts in life.
Backstory: Within the final roaring 20s, girls wore glitzy flapper attire with long-sleeved gloves and matching hats. This time round, Markarian’s designer Alexandra O’Neill is hoping they will put on her designs.
Patrick Smith/Workers/Getty Photographs
Launched in 2017, Markarian creates night robes with a whimsical aesthetic-it’s an infusion of celestial romanticism, timeless design, and trendy grace, in line with its web site. O’Neill had a breakout yr in 2021 after dressing Jill Biden in a customized blue swimsuit embellished with Swarovski pearls and crystals for inauguration day.
On Friday, Markarian held his first New York Style Week presentation with a set impressed by the fashion of actress Katherine Hepburn and Lauren Bacall within the film “Find out how to Marry a Millionaire,” depicting 1940s and early 1950s style.
The brand new assortment comes proper on time – the “expertise economic system” is predicted to growth because the world reopens and folks search glitz, glamour, and camp for his or her sartorial selections.
Progress: Gross sales had been doubling earlier than the pandemic hit, then skyrocketed after the 2021 inauguration, with the model and a few of its wholesale retailers seeing gross sales quadruple and quintuple, O’Neill instructed Insider.
Her social following additionally doubled with visitors to her website growing 570%, in line with W journal. Subsequent yr, she’s projecting a 150% improve in gross sales.
Markarian is bought in luxurious retailer Moda Operandi, Bergdorf Goodman, and has a showroom the place it creates customized items for personal clientele. It has been noticed on actresses like Emma Roberts and Kerry Washington.
In 2019, it launched a line of homeware with inside designer CeCe Barfield, created a bridal assortment, and launched a hat assortment with equipment designer Gigi Burris final spring.
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Earlier than Markarian: O’Neill and her sister, Kristen O’Neill, had a up to date sportswear line referred to as Porter Grey which they ran from 2006 till it folded in 2012.
challenges: Except for the pandemic, O’Neill stated the largest wrestle has been making an attempt to get Markarian extra consideration. So, she invested in digital advertising and marketing final yr by working with influencers to assist push the model’s whimsical aesthetics on Instagram.
Enterprise Recommendation: “It is vital to check the waters and develop organically as a substitute of making an attempt to pressure development,” O’Neill stated.
Cindy Ord/Workers/Getty Photographs
Enterprise mentor: O’Neill met a person named Wade, founding father of a sample service firm, who launched her to folks in New York Metropolis’s design district to create patterns for Markarian. She wouldn’t share his final identify. He at all times burdened the significance of high quality over amount, she stated.
He additionally instructed her it was inconceivable to make everybody glad. “Stick with what you recognize, what you do nicely, and your viewpoint,” she stated, relaying his recommendation. “Should you put one thing else on the market that already exists, what is the level?”
Why now could be the very best time to begin a enterprise: “It is difficult,” particularly in style, she stated, pointing to the pandemic and ongoing provide chain points. However, with a slight snicker, she added, “I imply – when is there ever a proper time to begin a enterprise?”
On hiring: There are six folks on Markarian’s crew and they aren’t trying to develop in the meanwhile. She’s saved her crew small, which allowed the model to remain nimble.
Managing burnout: “My aid is spending time with family and friends,” O’Neill stated, including she additionally will get acupuncture. “I simply really feel very fortunate to have the ability to do one thing that I completely love doing.”