Jenne Lombardo is the fashion director of Milk Studios as well as the founder of the new consulting firm, The Terminal Presents. She is one of the key decision-makers on which designers get a coveted slot to show at Milk during Fashion Week.
How many requests to do you get from designers wanting to be featured at Milk during Fashion Week?
Over a hundred.
How do you choose amongst the sea of talent?
Every month I have meetings so I can meet the designers, see their work and hear more about the business and brand. We make a decision based on the designer and their overall business acumen.
Who should we expect to can to see making an impact at Milk next season?
I am very excited about Dean Quinn, Calla, Public School and Louise Goldin. They are new to the program and it is always fun to have new talent.
What do you think are some of the advantages that Milk offers over showing at Lincoln Center?
We have a completely different business model. Some people want a beer and a shot, others just aren’t thirsty.
When did you first start your career in fashion?
I guess I was always in one way, shape or form encouraged by style and what visually motivated me. I worked for the women’s atelier floor at the Versace mansion for a few years. That was the first time I was exposed to well crafted, eccentric garments. It was then that I started to realize there was real possibility in this industry for me. However, I don’t think I will ever truly fit in. I find these pockets of opportunity and somehow manage to fill them with solutions. I will always feel a bit like an outsider from Ohio. Perhaps that’s what works.
Do you think there is space for all the new talent that is entering the fashion industry?
No. There are too many designers out there. I am not clear why everyone has to build a name for themselves. Instead they should be focusing on perfecting their craft. We are breeding egos rather than talent which is at times too bad.
What is your best advice to emerging designers looking for exposure?
Work for an established designer. That designer should be your best audience and the best exposure for you. Once you have worked under someone, on their dime, then you should decide if establishing your own line is the right path for you.
Can you tell us a bit about your consulting company? How did you come up with the name, The Terminal Presents?
It was inspired by Ayn Rand’s book, Atlas Shrugged. My colleague Sara and I came up with the name. At the time we were working in what grew to be a restrictive environment. Sara would often read me chapters from the book that were relevant to our personal experiences. We were motivated by the protagonist, Dagny Taggart, who saw society collapse around her as the government asserted more and more control over the individual. To that point, The Terminal Presents is a strategic marketing and creative agency that resuscitates, revitalizes and reestablishes brands that have lost their share in the market.