Today’s Notable Young Entrepreneur is Reese De Luca, who’s been working in the fashion industry since he was 16 years old and recently launched what is sure to become his most successful venture – and there are many – yet…
Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
My partner Daniel and I work really closely on most of the day-to-day activities of running a start-up like meetings with our publicist, going over verbage for our social channels, or deciding on photos from our latest fashion shoot. I mostly handle the design and production aspects of the business. I sketch and create the measurements and get all of our styles into work. I usually fit the clothing on Daniel because he’s tall. I’m the manic control freak of the two and need to be on social media and my iPhone constantly.
Why did you start working at your company? What was the inspiration for this career route?
We started our brand last July because we were fed up with the poor quality underwear we would buy from really expensive brands. All of these brands were made overseas. What started with underwear grew into a lifestyle idea with t-shirts, sweats and even organic lip balms. We started de la COMMUNE so that we could bring a fresh perspective to the market with really good quality designs for guys who like nice stuff.
What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
I worked a full-time job for a fashion company up until September with a cushy salary. I was laid off because they closed my department. The recession still hurts apparently. It’s finally nice to be able to take my own destiny into my hands. I am now my own boss. The hardest part is of course not having a salary anymore; it’s making me work harder than ever and it’s the most amazing adrenaline shot.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I want to see de la COMMUNE grown into a full lifestyle brand. I really believe in this brand that Daniel and I have created and I think it has a lot of potential. I hope that within five years we can be at the level of other inspiring brands like Rag & Bone or Neil Barrett.
What does success look like to you?
I look up to so many other designers like Victoria Beckham and Marc Jacobs and would be happy with even a fraction of what they have. It’s so hard to define success.
I think that being able to wake up and do what you love and make some money qualifies as being successful. What more could you ask for?
What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
I met Victoria Beckham at a fashion show and she asked me where my t-shirt was from – and it was my own design! That encounter turned into multiple meet-ups with her and she ended up wearing one of my designs on the cover of a newspaper.
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Don’t be afraid to dream, but at the same time you need to wake up and realize how much hard work goes into being successful or “making it.” Don’t forget that no matter how hard you work at something, someone else is working even harder. Don’t give up!
Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
I’m participating in Decembeard… but that’s just an excuse for me to keep my beard.
What to you is notable?
Living in a great country like Canada or the USA and wanting to make sure you can give back to your community. I think it’s notable to try to keep jobs here on our own soil and to support local talent and local business.
Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
Apple all the way! We just got the iPhone 6 plus. I stayed up until 4am to pre-order that baby.