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NYFW Interview: Charles Harbison Discusses the Growing Pains of Being a Young Designer

Feb 8, 2014 | Style

by Deidre Dyer

The NYFW sophomore talks about the trials and tribulations of growing in the spotlight After cutting his teeth in the design studios of American designers Michael Kors and Billy Reid, Charles Harbison stepped out on his own and has since presented three knock-out collections and garnered a wealth of press with his expertly tailored womenswear line HARBISON. For all the glory and gains of his meteoric rise, Harbison is cautiously set on taking things slow and developing his label one season at a time on his own terms. We popped into Harbison’s studio in between model castings to chat about the growing pains of being a young designer and the musical muse behind his latest collection. As a new designer, what’s the hardest thing that you’re dealing with at this moment? It lays very heavy on me, like every waking hour even when I’m sleeping, that I’m managing so many people who work for nothing at all. We’re all collectively building and harvesting with HARBISON. And that right there, really weighs on me. I’m constantly looking to bring in the financial capital that we need, but finding initiatives to support emerging designers are few and far between these days. So it’s just a push that you have to do in order to do what you want to do as a designer or to even continue growing at a steady pace. I’m not trying to be Ralph Lauren tomorrow. So those are the stress elements right now.

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