In a letter from Matthew Christopher himself, “a bold breeze of inspiration has come with the new year.” In this case, that bold breeze is Christopher himself.
Christopher is not your typical ISU alumnus. Not only is he an Iowa native who lives in New York City designing wedding gowns, he also has been running his own wedding gown brand and business out of his apartment for 10 years.
A 1999 ISU graduate, Christopher is one of the few who came in knowing exactly what he wanted to do — design wedding gowns. Not only that but he succeeded and made it big.
A person would never believe that Matthew Christopher is run by less than a handful of people, including Christopher, his assistant and his parents who to this day still reside in Iowa. He is the person you want to be. Christopher has proven that with hard work and that key quality of persistence, anyone — even a small-town Iowa boy — can make it big.
When asked what is the most important quality you can have to get where you want to go, he said “persistence, persistence, persistence; all the time, non-stop.”
“Plus you have to wear a lot of hats in this business; any business really. Not only do you have to sell your merchandise, you have to sell yourself, hardcore,” Christopher said.
Christopher, who is over 6 feet tall, good looking and talented, has a personality large enough to fill any room. In a finely cut suit, hair slicked back with shiny shoes, Christopher wrote the book on how to sell.
That is probably why the Fashion Show committee joined up with Christopher to hold a trunk show to help raise funds for the 2012 show in April.
Christopher goes around the country promoting his brand of wedding gowns by holding trunk shows. Last year, Christopher came back to Iowa State as the guest designer of the Fashion Show. Christopher wanted to give back to the show and the program even more. It was his idea to hold a trunk show to help raise money.
In the past, the Fashion Show has done fundraisers in conjunction with food establishments such as Cold Stone Creamery, worked the concession stands at sporting events and has sold Fashion Show merchandise.
“This is something different and new,” said Kate Howe, one of the three Fashion Show producers. “We are planning to make this a yearly event and not just a one-time deal.”
The gowns, which usually run from $2,500 to $4,000, were marked down about 25 percent from their original retail price.
“This opportunity doesn’t come around that often for Iowa brides,” Howe said.
The Fashion Show is a big deal for apparel merchandising and design students. After having the first trunk show out of the way, the producers hope to pass on their duties to the 2013 staff and have an even better success.