Crain’s annual 40 under 40 feature is a veritable list of who’s who in New York. The list includes honorees from industries as varied as finance, hospitality, politics, and new media, but it doesn’t often highlight the up and comers in the fashion industry — which is why it was a pleasant surprise to see Project Runway alum Christian Siriano featured right up top.
According to Crain’s, it was Siriano’s sharp business acumen that earned him a spot on the list. They write:
The day that Lehman Brothers collapsed in 2008, Christian Siriano had meetings scheduled with buyers from various retailers. They all canceled.
The sassy young designer, who had just shown his first solo collection during Fashion Week, knew he needed to be more than a runway wonder to succeed in the era of the great recession. He quickly diversified, taking on design collaboration projects—creating a phone and accessories for LG Electronics, a cosmetics collection for Victoria’s Secret and a line of low-priced shoes for Payless ShoeSource.
Siriano’s quick-thinking worked: revenues from Siriano’s company have risen 80% since 2008, and the pint-size designer expects them to increase another 40% this year.
2009’s token fashioneer was Michelle Obama’s inauguration gown pick, Jason Wu.