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Gary Wassner -The Business of Fashion

Gary Wassner & Tricia Mitchell

Rebecca Taylor! Vivienne Westwood! Alexander Wang! If you hear theses names, you think of some of the best fashion to walk the runway. You think of celebrities in their clothes. You think of what you're saving up to buy at Bergdorfs , Barneys and Saks. But, how does it all get there? How do you get to view and crave these collections? If you ever ask yourself these questions and want to know more about how a collection becomes the hottest thing, you must think of Gary Wassner. Gary Wassner is CEO of Hilldun Corporation, the leader in financing and factoring some of the most supreme names in fashion (Carven, Mara Hoffan, Naeem Kahn). Fashion is a business like any other, but investors tended to shy away from creative investments. Gary Wassner stepped in and filled that void and made it into an empire.

Created by his father and uncle in 1952, Hilldun originally managed real estate and Gary joined the business to help his dad. That all changed when a little designer known as Besty Johnson (maybe you heard of her), an icon in the business, approached Gary to help her with her her orders. Well that was the beginning of a beautiful thing, as any shopoholic would agree! Now managing over 400 clients he has branched out. Gary is also the Chairman of Interluxe Holdings and now acquires his own brands like Jason Wu and ALC.

One of the most 50 influential people in fashion Fashionista, Mr. Wassner wears many hats. He sits on the CFDA advisory board, a mentor for the CFI Incubator program and is also a board member at Fordham Law School's Fashion Institute. For his latest venture, he will be appearing on Project Runway Start Up on Lifetime, a Weinstein production, which airs tonight Oct 20th at 10:30pm. This will surely have me glued to my TV. He is also featured with his dear friend Whoopi Goldberg in her new show Strut, premiering on Oxygen. Gary's genius does not stop there! An accomplished fiction and children's book author, his GemQuest book series is iconic among fantasy readers. I personally am on book two and find it riveting. On top of all of this, he was also a yoga teacher. Being so well rounded and creative has certainly served him well.

His eye for fashion is strong and fierce. He really knows how to look at design and style. I know when he recommends a designer, it is worth looking at and he has never steered me wrong . He is more than just another star sitting front row at nearly every show in Fashion Week (not even kidding). He is there to mould and nurture what we wear in fashion. What is fashion, if not a personal self expression? I am happy to have his guidance so when I walk into a store, I can actually find a piece to match my mood or feeling.

Gary is accomplished in so many ways. His greatest achievements if asked, are his handsome sons (Brien, Chris and Cole) their beautiful wives (Mary, Lauren and Erin), his five grandchildren (Brinkley, Maxwell, Oliver, Brycen and Brent) and his stunning wife Cathy who he lives with in New York City.

So to the young designers out there who need guidance and inspiration, this is certainly a man to follow! For the fashion junkies like me, we just want him to keep doing what he does best, picking the winners, so we can wear them and be the envy of all our friends. Behind every great man, there is a great woman. Behind some of the greatest designers in the world, there is Gary Wassner...

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