Sewing up a success
A fashion empire springs from a humble atelier in west Houston
Just when Gregory Fourticq was about to channel out of children's clothing, which he produces under the MooBoo's label, into women's wear with TimesTwo.com, he scored a major hit with Zulily.com, the website that offers enticing deals on baby's and kid's clothing.
On Monday, seamstresses in his artisanal workshop in west Houston were madly sewing up adorable children's clothes to complete a Zulily order for 2,000 pieces that are due in just a few weeks. Contract seamstresses had delivered what looked like a few bushels of summer frocks that they had been working on over the weekend. And now Zulily says it can handle 5,000 pieces in the next order, convinced by tracking numbers that Fourticq's clothes would be an easy sell. Hello, Internet success.
Fourticq is scrambling, but not without a plan. Four new sewing machines are in place and seamstresses, primarily Vietnamese, are being interviewed. The scene on this day was a color confection of more ruffles and ribbons and froufrou embellishments than you would find at a royal wedding.
And that was the action taking place in just one half of Fourticq's rustic atelier. The other half is dedicated to women's clothing.
He began creating women's shirts and blouses about a year ago and within recent months branched out into dresses and slacks. The beauty of his creations is that they are inspired by big-name designer labels and the fabrics that he uses are end runs and leftovers from the likes of Oscar de la Renta and Carolina Herrera. He culls his fabrics from sources in New York and Los Angeles.
The pricing is ever so palatable with well-made, casual sundresses priced around $200. Cocktail dresses made from luscious fabrics that you might find in Neiman's or Saks are priced under $500. Costs do vary depending on the price of the fabric. Fourticq, who is personal friends with one of the founders of the Gilt Groupe, plans on working with that popular website and sees an exciting future for this aspect of his business.
"It's coming together well," he said of the women's line. "But you have to focus on the big picture and move cautiously and not make any moves that will cost you in the long run."
Today, Fourticq is also working on private labels, creating dresses for the Jack Rogers line (which just doubled its order), best known for its country club shows of resort wear. And he is producing designs for Betty Newton and her popular boutique A Bientot. Look for a Stella McCartney-inspired dress in A Bientot within a few weeks. And those lavish ball skirts with the A Bientot label were produced at Fourticq's shop. Look for his TimesTwo.com website to launch in the coming months.
In the meantime, his dresses, slacks and tops are available at Tootsies and A Bientot or directly by talking to Fourticq at 281-531-6777.
Fourticq is no newcomer to the world of high fashion, having honed his fashion skills as vice president of retail for Calvin Klein, Donna Karan and finally Carolina Herrera before deciding that it was time to return to hometown Houston.