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"The Emerging Trends - Paris Designer Spotlight: Christine Manthey"

Beginning her career in the industry as a technical designer for various glorified brands, Christine Manthey started her collection, MANTHEY, in the Fall of 2009 with a unique eye for design. Manthey is excited to show off her new designs and get back to her “full creative roots as a designer”, she says.

Only starting up her collection in 2009, Christine has accomplished many great achievements in her career. In 2011, she co-costumed and styled for the play “1001 Nights”. On a personal level, one of her greater achievements was shipping off her first collection to the very first store that bought it. The best part for her was taking the box to FedEx and the excitement it gave her when sending it out! Another personal accomplishment for Christine was watching the models in her first fashion show, showing off her collection on the runway.

Christine draws most of her inspiration from various unique photographs and paintings from different eras. This past fall she meshed two contrasting artists influentially and collaborated both into a very avant-garde collection. While in Beijing, she found Alberto-Garcia-Alix and his 1980 styled black and white photographs. She also stumbled upon photographer Jacques Henri Lartique and his photographs of women in Paris circa 1911. Although both photographs are different, they are taken at an important time period in fashion, thus creating Manthey’s Fall collection. For spring she took inspiration from the 1970’s bohemian style using slightly flared pants and an A-line knee length skirts, as well as long skirts made of chiffon and dotted netting. She then tied her collection in with Botticelli’s painting “Primavera” using a dainty floral print in cotton and chiffon for her flowing blouses. Her outstanding colors such as melon orange, baby pink and bright raspberry were all present creating yet another eye catching collection.

For Christine, a major challenge for designers she says is breaking into stores that only carry reputable designers. However she says to break out of this status quo, “Luckily there are more outlets for up and coming talent than ever, and it might be best to get some credibility with those sources for the first couple of years, and test your ability to fully produce and ship a product.” Another challenge that faces designers Manthey says is that, “There is more and more competition with new media as well as traditional retail outlets, it can be easy to get lost if your product isn’t compelling in a photograph AND hanging on a store rack – you need both.“

However, to overcome such competitiveness, Christine says to look at your strength and weaknesses and then take advantage of all your surroundings. “ If you have a friend that is a computer genius with websites, or someone else that is business/money smart to help create your business plan and come up with revenue generating ideas, or a friend who is in sales for other designer brands and has retail contacts.  Using who you know, friends of friends, etc., to help you get out there in every possible way is a survival tool.” Christine advises.

Christine hopes to hold live presentations off-season in other markets to visually promote her collections. For Christine, she believes in having a more intimate events outside of the fashion week craze will better advance her brand hoping to “make people feel special, to understand the clothes, and get to know my vision.” Christine says. In addition to gaining a wide variety of international recognition, Christine Manthey is excited to be part of the competition and is confident she has the ability to win the competition and will use the winnings to invest in a new collection for MANTHEY, and is very eager to begin that process!

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