TRUE RELIGION!! Who hasn’t heard of True Religion!! Well get excited because today on The Skinny Confidential we’re talking with the co-founder, Kym Gold.
And really, she is just a badass in every way.
Literally though. I took notes. Seriously, not kidding for a second. Her advice is SO, SO SPOT ON.
( I totally encourage you to do the same if you’re sitting at your desk on your workday with a cup of coffee, ready to go after it. Trust me, Kym just had the best business advice ).
OH, AND she wrote a book…which I spent the entire weekend reading. Basically it’s like a #GIRLBOSS-ish book but from someone who really has experienced IT ALL ( highs, lows, kids, divorce, success, etc. ). All while building an insane empire.
If you’re a female entrepreneur, you will LOVE it.
Alright. Let’s talk shop:
| Hi Kym! So excited to have you on The Skinny Confidential. Ok, so introduce yourself |
Kym Gold: I’m Kym Gold, the co-founder of designer jeans brand True Religion, & a 25-year fashion industry veteran. I’ve also created some notable clothing brands including: Bella Dahl, Hippie Jeans, & Babakul.
Over the years, my fashions have been worn by a diverse range of individuals such as: David Beckham, Tom Ford, Angelina Jolie, Donna Karan, Heidi Klum, Jennifer Lopez, Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow, Gwen Stefani, Holly Robinson Peete, & Justin Timberlake.
My designs have been featured in top fashion magazines, including Vogue, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, In Style, & Rolling Stone.
| I’m dying to know about the process of building True Religion!! |
KG: The actual process is quite an interesting story. You can read the whole story & all its details in my new book, Gold Standard: How to Rock the World and Run an Empire.
Here is a condensed version: blood, sweat and tears!
I had several companies before True Religion. I wanted to start a denim company with my then husband who was a fabric salesman. But not the typical jeans co. I wanted to design a more upscale collection, a hip and high quality jean that would change the industry standards.
I was relentless as I spearheaded the push to get TR into the public eye by doing everything I could and more, all while raising three young children. It took several years of hard knock and trial and error to get to the point when we felt it was finally success in our eyes, and then it went public on the Stock exchange.
I knew then that it was the accomplishment I had envisioned from the very start.
| Advice you would give aspiring women entrepreneurs? |
KG: I always start any business with: WHO ( who is your demographic or market? ), WHAT ( what is your product? ), HOW ( how are you going to do it?).
My motto is: Always looking for a YES, not looking for a NO.
Make sure what you are doing has passion & desire behind it. Do your research about your brand or product. This knowledge creates power and confidence.
| What would you tell aspiring entrepreneurs to avoid? |
KG: Being overwhelmed. One step at a time, slow and steady, narrow and deep.
| Coolest moment so far in your business life? |
KG: When True Religion really took off, I was invited to Japan by my Japanese distributors. I received the full 5 star, red carpet treatment because the brand was doing so well in Japan, & they really admired American designers at the time.
I felt I had accomplished something in the jeans industry, which was to find a culture that really embraced the design, look, & feel of the denim. I felt like a rock star.
| Tell us about your book ( I REALLY LOVE IT! ) |
KG: Thank you! I am very proud of it. It really sets the record straight in many areas of my life that have either been unrecognized or told through someone else’s eyes.
I wanted to to tell the real honest truth of how True Religion started & became a phenomenal success, but also the the struggles it took to get there.
| Best business advice EVER? |
KG: Get everything in writing. Keep very good records.
| Can you take us through your creative process? |
KG: I am inspired by nature & free flowing energy. That’s why I love living in Malibu, and being close to the ocean.
As a designer, every line or collection is different of course, but I always start with the fabric: the textural way it feels, moves, stretches, & what can be done with it. This is my starting point.
Then I look at the seasonal forecasts & market trends: I look for what’s missing or a void in that market & then find an original, yet compatible way to design a fresh new look.
I’m always looking to be the first to be first, not the first to be second.
| Why did you want to share your story? |
KG: For years I wanted to share my vast experience & insight in the Fashion Industry, so finally in 2014, together with my co-author Sharon Soboil, I wrote the telling memoir titled, Gold Standard.
I felt strongly about empowering a younger generation of women, & that sharing my tumultuous journey in the fashion industry ( especially as a leading business woman in a man’s game ) along with my personal life struggles of relationship mistakes, business failures, & successes, that it would give some valued insight to the upcoming fashionista’s.
Maybe just the extra needed strength & useful tools to help even one woman, whether in fashion or not, onto becoming a stronger & better version of themselves.
| Ok, Kym— you’re DYNAMIC!! What’s next? |
KG: Currently as a designer, I’m in the process of developing a new collection for a well known celebrity. Also I’m very involved with the mentoring of young designers & my association with Brian Hill, founder of Phoenix Fashion Week ( at CBS Radford Studios ).
I’m speaking at a charity event for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation & honoring a young CP fashion designer named Grace Rose, who created Rosie G designs.
+ check out Kym’s book.