Before ending her first career 14 years ago as an award winning journalist, Phyllis Brasch Librach became inspired to trade deadlines for hemlines. She wanted to take the tears out of shopping for her daughter and all daughters, mothers, sisters, aunts and friends with real curves. In a world where thin is too in, Librach found it unfair that millions of teens and women were fashion-starved for stylish plus-size dresses to wear to life’s most important celebrations.
Today, Librach is the leading plus size special occasion dress designer and online retailer for Prom, Wedding, and Formal gowns.
Over the last decade, Sydney’s Closet and its retail partners throughout the United States, Canada, South America, Europe and Australia have dressed tens of thousands of plus-size teens and women. This internationally recognized company continues to set the bar for extraordinary plus-sized fashion. Librach said “Our glam prom and bridal designs have been seen on the dance floors in high school gyms for Prom and Homecoming, on celebrities walking the red-carpet in Hollywood and going down the aisle of churches and beaches.”
The Story Behind Sydney’s Closet
In the beginning, Phyllis was just a mother anxious to wipe away her teen-age daughter’s tears. Her teen-age daughter Mickey cried when she failed to find a plus-size prom dress. It broke Phyllis’ heart and made her very mad! In a world where thin is too in, Phyllis found it unfair that millions of teens and women like her daughter were fashion-starved for dressy plus-size dresses to wear to life’s most important celebrations.
The reality is that one in every four high school girls in the U.S. wears a size 14 or larger. And when it comes time for once-in-a-lifetime nights like Prom and Homecoming, she doesn’t want to hide her curvy figure under shapeless muumuus or evening gowns that grandma would wear. She wants a frock that rocks! (And she deserves one!)
In this episode, you’ll learn:
- The personal passion and business opportunity that lead to the start of Sydney’s Closet
- The behind the scenes of the 18 month design and development process for each Sydney’s Closet collection
- The details that Phyllis pays attention to when designing gowns for a plus-size figure
- What a typical day during a factory visit trip looks like for Phyllis
- How Phyllis found her first factory
- Why the Michelle Bridal and Tease Prom lines are only sold wholesale
- How the wholesale and direct to consumer lines balance and inform each other
- How Phyllis has seen the plus-size fashion industry change in the past decade since she started Sydney’s Closet
- What has made Phyllis’ design partnership with Johnathan Kayne so fun and successful
People and resources mentioned in this episode:
- Sydney’s Closet website
- Michelle Bridal website
- Tease Prom website
- Johnathan Kayne for Sydney’s Closet collection
- Sydney’s Closet email
- Sydney’s Closet on Instagram
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