It’s not often that you are struck with inspiration and left in awe by someone you have never met nor talked to. This happened to me when I sent some interview questions to Leah Kirsch. When reading her interview responses, I got a real sense of who Leah is. She is a young entrepreneur, which is amazing in itself but she is more than that. She seems to truly understand her worth as a women. She wants to inspire other women to do the same, to know their true worth.
Meet Leah Kirsch, the CEO and Founder of Millioneiress
The/Studio: Introduce yourself. Tell our readers a little bit about who you are!
Leah Kirsch here – I’m 22 years old, just graduated from the Gabelli School of Business at Fordham University with a Bachelors in finance and marketing. Before moving to New York City in 2010, I was living in Germany, which is where I was born but, not where I grew up. I was born in Düsseldorf, Germany, moved to Singapore, Michigan – where I spent most of my childhood. I graduated high school early, and then dipped out to Germany to travel a bit before taking a bite out of the big apple. I’m outspoken, loud, determined – some would say stubborn – and loyal.
The/Studio: Wow! You have accomplished a lot at such a young age. When creating your brand, who did you have in mind? What type of women are you creating your clothes for?
Leah Kirsch: When I was creating my brand, I had in mind, females. Younger girls who I want to inspire, my peers and best friends who truly are Millioneiress Femmes, and successful women who are incredible role models. Of course, I target females ages 16-25, who are confident, opinionated and live an unconventional lifestyle, but also females who just need that extra little push and reminder. A reminder that we, as women, are supporting them. A little push to express their opinion and not end sentences with a questions mark, that should be a statement.
The/Studio: That’s wonderful! That’s a great message for women. Which designers are you most inspired by?
Leah Kirsch: I’ve always loved Prada and Celine because of their simple mod look. It’s wearable but still high fashion and like art on your body! What’s cooler than that? A recent designer that I was extremely inspired by was DKNY after their Fall 2014 show. It was incredible to see snapbacks paired with dresses, sneakers, fur and leather. This pretty much sums up my style, so I could relate to it and see myself wearing the pieces on a regular day.
The/Studio: Who is your fashion icon?
Leah Kirsch: It’s hard to pin this on one person. Nonetheless, one person who I find myself continuously reading about is Diana Vreeland. She is the happy-medium between Coco Chanel and Ana Wintour: wildly creative and a free spirit – like Coco, while simultaneously a natural boss, people-don’t-ask-they-just-do leader – like Wintour. Another fashion icon I’ve always admired, along with many other girls (for a good reason) is Sarah Jessica Parker. There really isn’t anyone with her style out there. Not only are her outfits impeccably on point, the life she brings in her clothes is sincere as ever.
The/Studio: What have you learned since starting Millioneiress?
Leah Kirsch: Since starting Millioneiress, I have learned a tremendous amount. First, I is how to determine who actually wants to help the brand grow, and who is just talking a big game. Secondly, I have learned – and still learning – how to keep my life balanced. Starting your own brand on your own and organically eventually becomes all you think about. Especially when it’s your main source of income. Thankfully, I have some of the most loyal and honest friends who aren’t afraid to give it to me straight. Let’s say, they keep me social. The last major thing I learned was how to manage a team of people who are all over the world – from NYC to MIAMI to PARIS.
The/Studio: Is there a customer service experience that you are most proud of?
Leah Kirsch: I’m most proud of our ability to respond to emails so quickly. Millioneiress is catchy so people love to send emails regarding a wide variety of things. My girls and I have managed to respond to almost every email within a day
The/Studio: That’s really impressive that you and your team responds to emails so promptly. Which item in your collection is your favorite?
Leah Kirsch: My favorite item is my SWERVE tee. This was one of the first designs I sketched before I even knew I would have my own clothing brand. I feel a real sense of accomplishment knowing that I generated enough profit to produce a product I design when I was 17 years old. It’s also one of my favorites because it’s so ‘in your face’ without actually being ‘in your face.’ For instance, SWERVE means to (please) get out of my lane because I’m have a goal, and I’m going to achieve it whether you get in my way or not. So, just step aside and save us both time. Haha!
The/Studio: I love that! I’m going to start telling people to “swerve”. In your opinion, what will never go out of style in fashion?
Leah Kirsch: Jeans and white tee. Or a graphic tee for that matter. It’s so classic but still effortless and there is
truly nothing sexier or attractive than the combination of these two.
The/Studio: I love what you said on your “about me” page. You wrote “don’t forget to fall in love with yourself first”, can you elaborate on this?
Leah Kirsch: Well, if you don’t love your true self, including all your flaws as well as all your attributes, it will be apparent on the outside, no matter how pretty or how well dressed one is. There will be some sort of uneasiness or restlessness. When you love yourself through-in-through, you will be ready to take on any challenge, which will lead to amazing experiences.
The/Studio: This is exactly why I think you are such a great inspiration to all women. I think this advice is something most mothers try to teach their daughters. What are some of the greatest challenges you face in your business?
Leah Kirsch: Getting people to take me seriously.
The/Studio: I think your clothes will speak for themselves. You are a very talented designer. Where do you see Millioneiress in 10 years?
Leah Kirsch: In 10 years?! Whew. I will definitely have an office and a really artsy one where all our employees can write directly on the walls. I will have consistent consumer-direct sales as well as large wholesale orders in the biggest stores. I’ll give back to everyone who’s helped me with the tasks that aren’t fun. I’ll have a payroll and some sort of seriously unconventional fashion show. Lastly, of course, I will have more products and designs. Probably even pants.
The/Studio: Great plans!What is the story behind the custom patches that you has produced?
It is without a doubt that the custom patches have played an enormous part in the growth of Millioneiress. During my junior year, I was running an errand for an internship and spotted some awesome snapbacks that I had to buy. To make them even better and complete, I designed a custom patch that was consistent with my ‘Because I Can’ tank. Thanks to The/Studio
and their exceptional work, every snapback is topped with a custom patch and off it goes to my amazing customers. Finally, a HUGE thanks to my mother, who sews each patch onto the snapbacks. She is super woman.