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Nary Manivong Kickstarts Comeback

nary-manivong01Manivong, who was behind the now-shuttered Nahm line with Alexandria Hilfiger, is continuing on his own. This time, he is relying on Kickstarter, the world’s largest funding digital platform that supports up-and-coming creative talent, to support his next chapter. Kickstarter is mostly used by start-ups to get consumer-based funding, and Manivong’s goal is to raise $25,000 through a campaign to encourage people to help fund his new line. It includes a video using footage from his recent “Dressed” documentary.

“With technology and the media, there is a really cool number of opportunities,” Manivong said, praising Kickstarter. “You get to support people who are driven to do something.”

For Manivong, drive accounts for much of his tenacity. His is a rags-to-riches story — replete with gangs and homelessness in Columbus, Ohio and his rise to New York Fashion Week — that is well-documented in “Dressed,” which will be available to download on iTunes this month.

“For me, it was the right timing, and the confidence in myself to move on forward,” Manivong said. “At Nahm, we had great relationships with stores, and I’d like to continue that going forward.”

Manivong’s aesthetic is largely clean and feminine and for his return under his own name, he incorporated many details from his native Laos, from special trims to prints.

“Now, the girl I am designing for is a little bit more grown up, confident, there is a little bit more of a sexiness to her,” he said. “These are pieces that can be worn from day into night.”

The line, which is manufactured in New York, is positioned at an advanced contemporary price point, with dresses ranging from about $195 to $275 at wholesale, and tops and bottoms from about $95 to $115. For the time being, Manivong is focusing on those classifications but is likely to add outerwear in seasons to come.

He will show the collection to stores during fashion week, working with the Dana Dramov Showroom. He said he will present it to editors afterward. While Manivong didn’t disclose sales projections, he said, “With Nahm, we had about 25 stores, so the focus is to go off of the relationship I had with them, and give them first go of the collection. So far, I have sent out sketches, and a lot of responses were great, which is exciting.”

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