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Talking Top Tens: Amanda Curtis

CEO & Co-founder, Nineteenth Amendment

06.09.15

As a designer-turned-entrepreneur, Amanda Curtis knows first hand how difficult it is to break into the fashion industry. After growing up in the fashion industry and graduating from Boston University and Parsons, Amanda went from backstage at New York Fashion week to designing for celebrities and bringing a solo designed collection to judging at London Fashion Week. Despite all that success, she was never profitable. Nineteenth Amendment was developed as the way to help designers break into the fashion industry with the least amount of time, effort, and money (stiletto-strapping), while growing domestic micro-manufacturing. Amanda’s mission is to make the fashion industry better for everyone: from designers and shoppers, to manufacturers and retailers. Follow Nineteenth Amendment on Twitter and Instagram and Amanda on Twitter and Instagram

And more with Amanda Curtis…

Your biggest fashion faux pas or a regrettable style phase:

A powder blue velour track suit in the early 2000s. Luckily I only wore it during track practice. I have a long held distaste for sweat pants. I second Karl Lagerfeld’s belief that “sweatpants are a sign of defeat”.  

What do you love most about your work?

Every day I get to help designers get one step closer to achieving their goals, while reinvigorating the industry that I grew up in and love. Fashion is change and transformation, and it’s thrilling to be a part of the evolution of an industry.  

One piece of advice you would give your 18 year old self:

Speak up. Growing up I was painfully shy. When I moved to New York at 22 I immediately felt the rush of freedom that comes with being one in a sea of millions. In NYC I finally felt free to voice my opinion in the same way that I dressed, boldly. 

Your last great read:

Lena Dunham’s “Not That Kind of Girl”. Lena is a phenomenal and unapologetic story teller. I respect women who can do things, and break ceilings, without apology, especially ones who are accomplishing goals at a young age. 

Your go-to power outfit:

Dior’s navy blue, vintage, double breasted “The Suit” handed down to me by a family friend. It’s very Annie Hall, incredibly well made and comfortable. I understand now why men wear suits. 

The pair of jeans you will never grow tired of:

A pair of well worn Buffalo Jeans from high school. They were so worn through that I had to cut them into shorts. There’s a lot of sentiment in those jeans...I’ll probably always have them.  

You decompress each day by:

Whiskey - my soft coated Wheaton Terrier puppy (they’re an Irish breed with the coloring of whiskey) and my black kitten, Salem. Time with my puppy and kitten brings me into the moment.  

On Sunday, we’ll find you wearing:

Something wild, colorful, and usually inspired by my Carrie Bradshaw fanciful mindset. Sunday is my “play dress up day”....well every day is, but on Sunday I have more time to experiment and the result is usually more inspired!

The skill or sport you’re dying to learn:

I’d love to learn to fence. My fiancé was a fencer in college and I would love to be able to dual with him. Also, I’m a big fan of the uniform and the formality of the sport. 

Your greatest achievement:

Starting a company off of a career high then low. At 25, I flew with my first solo designed collection to London (in carry on) to present to the British Fashion Council for London Fashion Week. Despite industry success and funding, the collection was never profitable. I experienced first hand what I had seen in the industry for years, that brands bound to be successful ultimately failed because of financial attrition in a business model stacked against them. Shortly after there was a turning point where my motivation was no longer about preserving and saving my own work, but creating a way to preserve the future of the fashion industry I grew up in and loved. This is the motivation for Nineteenth Amendment.