For Frank Borsas, head of occasionwear brand Aidan Mattox, it’s all about inspiration and looking to the future
Originally launched in 2004, the US-based women’s occasionwear brand Aidan Mattox creates dresses inspired by old Hollywood glamour and red carpet luxe. As the brand launches in the UK at Harvey Nichols for spring 17, Drapers spoke to the president and chief merchant for the brand, Frank Borsas, about the quest to create the perfect dress, his love of art and the importance of teamwork.
frank borsas, Aidan Mattox
What led you to a career in fashion?
I believe I was born into it. My father was a tailor and my mom a seamstress. I grew up around a sewing machine and scissors. I studied politics, but figured there would be plenty of that in the fashion business too.
How do you describe the ethos of the brand and the kind of woman you design for?
Aidan Mattox is designed for a strong and independent woman. She is by no means shy. She’s no wallflower. She is confident, knows what’s happening in fashion, takes care of herself and dresses to please herself. She’s fun, sexy and flirty.
What do you love most about your job?
Aidan Mattox spring 17
Creating dresses that make a woman feel good about herself. The dress someone selects is an extension of their personality and style.
Do you think of yourself more as a designer or a businessman?
Both – it depends on the hat I’m wearing at that moment.
What are some of the challenges you come across day to day?
It’s a fast-paced world we live in and that includes fashion. We constantly challenge ourselves to think of the next dress: that one dress that will make our customer feel special.
What do you do to keep yourself motivated in your work?
I try to surround myself with great people. It’s all about the team. I motivate them, which in turn motivates me. Yesterday’s successes and failures are done with. It’s always time to look ahead. This is fashion, after all.
What are some of the things that inspire you?
I love to live with original art. It’s not the cost of a piece of art that matters – seeing creativity in others inspires us to create. I especially like art brut. The raw vision of an untrained artist can be quite powerful. Travel is also a powerful source of inspiration: it allows you to see beauty in other cultures and learn from it.
What’s the biggest misconception about the fashion industry?
This must be a trick question. You do know it’s all fairy dust and dancing in this industry?
What has been your career highlight to date?
Putting together a great team. I’m only as good as those that surround me. I am lucky to have a great team both in the US and over in London.
What’s the best business advice you were ever given?
Put together a super team and take inspiration from others. It’s contagious.
If you could give your younger self one piece of advice what would it be?
Don’t take yourself too seriously. That way, no problem is insurmountable.
Favourite clothing brand
I don’t have one. Mix it all up high and low to create your own style
Favourite places to shop
Flea markets and, when in London, Harvey Nichols. Its product selection is contemporary, well edited and on point
Last fashion purchase
Last book you read
Dumas’ The Three Musketeers. It’s a favourite – I always go back to it.
Last film you watched
La La Land
Clerk at a dry cleaner
Setting up a sun lounger and umbrella rental stand
How you unwind
In the summer, running to the beach house to stare at the ocean with a nice glass of wine and watch the sunset