Influencer Intro: Morgan Roth
A few years ago, I met an awesome girl named Morgan. Immediately upon meeting her, I knew she was going to be successful. Something about her demeanor and confidence made me confident, and I love being around people who inspire me. If you're not constantly pushing yourself, you'll plateau. If you surround yourself with plenty of Type A entrepreneurs, you may never feel like that.
I wanted to interview Morgan about her new line, The Millennialists, because I love the line, and more importantly, her mission. With graphic shirts like the word "change" and the Chanel logo on the front, The Millennialists mixes style with function. The hats are dope, too.
I'm giving away a hat and shirt by the brand on my newsletter next week, so make sure to subscribe to win!
Enjoy reading the interview!
A: What's it like being a designer in 2017?
It's exciting. It's also somewhat daunting, the world is more connected than ever and you are being bombarded by an immense amount of information. So many designers are out there and fashion is changing faster than ever. But it's also empowering because we see a lot of young people getting involved in big issues now using art and design as a platform to add their voices to the mix. That's why I created The Millennialists, so I could mix fashion with a bigger message. The first collection is all about China. My mom is Chinese and I grew up visiting China every year. Last year I spent half the year living in Shanghai which prompted me to want to speak up about some of the big issues happening in China such as overpopulation, pollution, the ramifications of the one child policy and smoking culture. But it's not just China that faces these problems, they eventually will impact the whole world.
A: What sets you apart from the next top young designer?
I want the clothing I put out to provoke change and make people think about a world outside of their own. Sometimes we grow accustomed to only thinking about our own lives, but traveling and talking to people from around the world makes you realize how small the planet really is and how connected we all are.
I decided to go to business school instead of fashion school because I think it's really important for designers to understand how to run their own business. You have to be able to design clothing and but also know how to create a budget for the entire collection, make a business plan, what questions to ask manufacturers and how international relations and trade agreements that will impact your costs. Going to Babson has really prepared me for that side of the industry, because while fashion is creative and can be an art form, at the end of the day it's also a business.
A: Have you considered Project Runway?
It's funny, because middle school kind of felt like an extended version of Project Runway for me. I started taking fashion design classes when I was 11 and it quickly became my entire life. Everyday after school I would be in the studio making dresses, shoes or bags.
I don't think Project Runway would be the best fit for me right now, because I've just launched The Millennialists and I'm traveling a lot for MAR, going to sourcing shows and factory visits.
A: What advice would you give to other young entrepreneurs that are just getting started?
Talk to everyone. Even if they aren't in the industry you want to be in, it doesn't hurt to listen. Listen to their stories, advice, struggles and criticism. Remember that you always have more to learn. And after you've taken in what everyone else has to say make sure you never lose your own voice.
It's going to be really, really hard. There are thousands of people out there who have the same dream as you. And they're also going to be wicked talented. And sometimes you're going to want to give up. But if you think about the thing you're working for, and it is the thing you want the most in the world and you couldn't imagine doing anything else. Never give up. Because at the end of the day it's not just about talent, it's about passion, you have to have the drive to keep going even if no one is there to motivate you.
A: What is the hardest part of being in the business under 25?
For me it's finding a balance and remaining sane. With The Millennialists and MAR I throw everything I am into it. Throughout the day I'm thinking about what I have to do for each of them and until it's done I can't stop thinking about it. It's especially hard when you're still in school trying to start a business because you have to go to classes, take exams, design a collection, build a website, meet with bankers, lawyers, go to trade shows, visit factories, and then somewhere in there you have to remember you're young and it's okay to actually want to spend time with your friends!
A: What has been your greatest success so far?
Honestly, it doesn't feel like its happened yet. I've been designing for a decade now but some moments have become milestones. I showed my dresses in my first fashion show when I was 15. I just turned 21 and the first collection for The Millennialists came out in December. Now I'm working on launching my womenswear brand MAR that is coming this winter. So I'm just moving forward and working on coming up with the best designs I possibly can.
A: What is your ultimate goal?
Paris. To see the lights rise as the music starts and my dresses going down the runway, that's been my dream since I had my first show. But right now I'd love to see both The Millennialists and MAR grow independently. My hope for The Millennialists is that it helps to motivate our generation to create change, and work towards a better future by listening to one and other and embracing our differences.