Louis Monoyudis studied at Harvard and earned a degree in Fashion Design from Parsons School of Design. Before launching the social design website Cut On Your Bias – he worked as a brand strategist at Leo Burnett Advertising and as a high-end fashion designer. Below Louis Monoyudis talks to Thrash Lab about how he thinks social media will continue to impact the fashion world and how he professionally has combined his expertise in branding with his love of fashion to create an innovative website where high-end designers and aspiring designers/crafty people can connect over fashion and create.
How did you come up with the concept for Cut On Your Bias? As I was sorting through a decade’s worth of inspiration swatches and sketches that I had archived during my time as a designer, I became overwhelmed with the choices and that is when the light bulb went off: Why not build a platform that allows customers to interact on the design process with me! As I was building out this concept my friends who are also designers with their own labels asked if they could be a part of it, and that is when I knew I was really onto something.
You had a successful career as a designer for brands like Calvin Klein, John Varvatos and Tommy Hilfiger. What made you decide to branch off and start your own company? The experiences at these mega-brands allowed me to explore my creative vision and business savvy, and after 10 years working for others, I was ready to start my own business. It is hard to say what gave me the courage to make that leap. Honestly, it was the most frightening decision I made, and it has turned out to be the most rewarding.
What spawned your transition from a brand strategist at Leo Burnett Advertising to being a fashion designer? When I was in undergrad at Harvard, I fell in love with the study of how people signal cultural and social allegiances to others. I interned in the marketing department at Isaac Mizrahi as part of the research for my senior thesis, and when I graduated I landed an amazing position at Leo Burnett advertising in Chicago. We were working on an apparel project, and that is when I realized that I wanted to pursue fashion, so I moved to NYC and enrolled in Parsons to study Fashion Design.
What’s something you learned while working in advertising that you find fundamental to your job with Cut On Your Bias? Working as Brand Planner while in advertising, I was the champion of the customer and their voice at the agency. My job was to understand our target market inside and out and use that to filter strategic initiatives. This training has been invaluable both in my current role as CEO of Cut On Your Bias as well as my tenure as a designer. If you don’t understand your customer, then you are living in a bubble.
In what ways do you think digital media will continue to impact the fashion industry? There are so many opportunities for improving the fashion supply chain and consumer experience. We will see innovation on all fronts, from point of sale techniques, virtual fitting rooms, mass customization and more.
Is there a digital media expert that you admire? The beauty about digital media is that it is too new and constantly changing for anyone to honestly claim to be an expert. We are all a part of a larger movement, and my admiration really lies with customers who are willing to engage with content and commerce in new ways.
What is something or someone you recommend the people reading this interview have on their radar? There are so many cool fashion/tech companies to keep tabs on. A few of my favorites include StyleMusee for content, Quincy Apparel for customization, and Buyosphere for peer recommendations.
What quote do you find inspirational? This quote rings true on a number of levels. Being assertive and driven are at the core of being an entrepreneur, and those traits are definitely exemplified in this quote. “A lot of people are afraid to say what they want, that’s why they don’t get what they want” – Madonna.
What is the most fashionable music video in your opinion? The most fashionable music video has and always will be, in my opinion, ‘Freedom!’90′ by George Michael.