You know you're on to a good thing when Jennifer Lawrence, Sienna Miller and Leighton Meester are all proud to wear your designs on the red carpet. And that's just what Galvan has achieved since it's inception in 2014. The goal for this London-based label? To create modern evening wear, made for women who want luxury fabrications and finishes, but without the frou-frou that often comes with black tie attire. Founded by four friends, Anna-Christin Haas, Sola Harrison, Carolyn Hodler, and Katherine Holmgren, we sat down with Katherine to hear her story, first hand. Describe you title and role. Katherine Serrano Holmgren, CEO of Galvan.
What was your formal background or education?
BA from Princeton University,
USA and MA from the Courtauld Institute of Art, UK.
Prior to launching , I worked in the London art world first at White Cube and Frieze Art Fair
before becoming head of corporate development at the Serpentine Gallery.
What inspired you to pursue your career?
My partners and I decided to start Galvan
because we were personally frustrated at the lack of evening wear that felt cool, clean and modern. This made us realise that there was a gap in the market, which is always a great reason for starting a company.
What has been the most memorable or rewarding moment in your career thus far?
Perhaps the most rewarding moment was our first Paris fashion week. We went in with very low expectations (we’d been warned that fashion industry was impossible to break into!) and we walked out with 20 of the top accounts in the world. It made us believe more than ever in our mission to redefine evening wear for the modern woman.
How do you measure success?
It’s a combination of things… Being proud of what you produce, gaining satisfaction from your everyday work, constantly growing and improving rather than staying on.
How do you feel about the future of your industry?
The fashion industry is in a state of flux with the advent of social media and e-commerce, which have completely altered how customers learn about brands and how they shop. From a brand’s point of view, this can be daunting at times but overall it is incredibly exciting. Never could a brand build awareness so quickly on a global level.
What advice would you give someone following, or influenced by your professional path?
Be your own customer! It’s infinitely easier to PR and sell a product that you yourself would want to buy. Also, grown a thick skin.
What challenges have you experienced?
Building the right team. It is the most important and also the most difficult part of the job.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Still growing, still evolving. You can find Galvan on Instagram @galvanlondon