Between sample sales, brunch spots and new apartments, NYC is like one long game of hide and seek. Luckily, there are also a few brands championing the one-stop-shop concept, to save us all some time.
Foundfuture is a genius hybrid of PR and branding expertise and purveyor of lines you need in your life. Founder, Shannon Lorraine, made her mark on the industry in a big way, and transitioned from corporate (she was a higher up at Nordstrom for years), into a chic shepherd for newcomers.
And, like any boss babe, she's onto the next horizon with a curated consultancy in Brooklyn for small brands in the works, founded with Basia Grocholski (a freelance creative director for brands like Genevieve Gorder and Criterion). We're staying tuned, on this one to watch.-- Amber Davis
(c) Where did the name Found Future come from? SL: The name Foundfuture came from two places, one my cousin David Alhadeff owns the store Future Perfect and I always loved the name so that was my initial inspiration. And when I created Foundfuture I was closing another business and I felt I "found my future". So Foundfuture was born!
(c) Art + Commerce = Design ... Cool equation! Does this play into your past work, or what you see in your current post? And, how does your brand demonstrate this balance?
SL: That equation was not learned overnight. I started my fashion career as a buyer so I always approached my work by looking at the numbers. If the numbers don't work you are out of business. I have always been a bit of a data nerd.
This idea carried over for me when I moved to the wholesale and branding side, great design is nothing if it doesn't make you money. It then becomes a brilliant hobby! I have told every client I have worked with to ask themselves "is this a business or a hobby"? The product must be able to sell and still maintain your brand integrity and that is a tough line to follow. My job is to help clients strike that perfect balance.
(c) What is the selection and vetting process like for your brands? Do you think that they all share something that makes them a fit for FF?
SL: We started out only working with sustainable brands, this is going back 9 years. Now we still look for brands that use sustainable practices but also have something new to say to the market.
Our clients tend to fall into the lifestyle and fashion market, forward thinking and inventive is what we look for in a brand. We also moved from Soho to Red Hook Brooklyn about 4 years ago so that also attracts a different type of client.
(c) If you had to describe your own style in one word, what would it be? Does your own aesthetic dictate the clients you work with?
SL: My style is very specific I am obsessed with the late 70's up to 1981. I always have been. More on the Studio 54, Solid Gold world than the more hippy aesthetic. I love glam jumpsuits but I also would kill for a great Gunne Sax! I was obsessed with Rodarte SS16 and I always love Chloe.
(c) What would you consider your first big break as the founder of FF, after having worked for someone else (i.e.: Nordstrom)?
SL: My previous company the Four Hundred, was my first step after Nordstrom. I worked with an amazing partner and designer, Bahar Shahpar. We were the first sustainable design showroom in the US and were able to work with Livia Firth and Eco Age, hosted shows in Milan and Tokyo. We also created a fabric library, with the help of C.L.A.S.S. Milan, of sustainable textiles that were sourced by major designers including Calvin Klein and DVF.
(c) Have you observed any major shifts in retail, commerce, etc. since you first started in the business? What do you think is next?
SL: I have seen huge shifts in retail in the last few years. Wholesale is becoming very risky for clients. The margins just cannot be met to keep these designers in business. I am really pushing my clients toward building their own e-commerce and only selling to very select retailers who can meet their margins. It is a huge change in the industry to see the power shift back to the designer. We have to grow together as retailers and designers to create a more realistic structure. I have seen too many amazing designers go under and I won't let another one go down on my watch!