Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Moire Conroy

Type “Moire Conroy” into Google search and you’ll get some pretty impressive results. She is on the websites of the Oscars, NBC, an American television network, Wikipedia, Chicago Magazine, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the 2nd highest ranked art school in the US, and Robin Richman, a well known Chicago fashion boutique. So how did this designer who only started her label in 2006, get to this point?

I called her to find out.

Conroy’s marketing begins with a lot of legwork and networking. Unlike Yokoo and Sandra Backlund, Conroy promotes her line by styling gallerists, artists, and art collectors in New York City for various gallery openings, parties, and other events. When she is invited to these events, she models her own range, further advertising her work while meeting potential new clients, effectively snowballing her clientele. Conroy is not meek; she contacts many of the people she meets at these events to see if she can dress them for future openings.

This relentless persistence is what helped Moire nail one of the covetable Oscar Design Challenge finalist spots. When approached by the head of the fashion council in Chicago to design a dress for the Oscar Challenge, she eagerly complied, sending tons of sketches.  Her work caught the eye of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences who then contacted her for more designs. Moire sent copious amounts of drawings, but didn’t let the correspondence stop there. “I think part of it [winning a finalist spot] was that I emailed them constantly and they saw how eager I was.” Though Moire was not the overall winner of the challenge, a decision made by public vote, the Oscars Fashion Coordinator chose to wear her dress to the awards show, drawing in even more attention.

This is a busy week for Moire. This Friday, May 1st, she is auctioning off THE Oscars dress at a gallery opening in Chicago. The money raised by the auction will go to a graduating senior at her alter mater, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  Not only is Conroy giving back to her school and community, she is encouraging fresh talent, generating more buzz about her line, and getting major network coverage of it all. Besides having NBC and ABC at the event, she is all styling many of the attendees. Oh, it’s a good time to be Moire. 

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