Tracy Negoshian

Tracy Negoshian

Imagining the Look of Florida’s Lifestyle

BY MARIA IANNUCCI

Everyone who has walked the aisles of boutiques and department stores has likely wondered where the designer found their inspiration for a style, a color theme, or a pattern. Imagine an architect of clothing who creates unique looks from the shapes found in a beautiful wrought-iron fence, wallpaper, and even a lighthouse. Tracy Negoshian, a former Haines City resident, has turned her bright imagination and drive to succeed into creating an international brand made, ironically, with Floridians in mind.

While Tracy believed from an early age that the right clothing could make someone not only look good but feel confident, she never dreamed at the beginning how she would shape her path to succeed in design.

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“After earning my degree in business at USF, I moved to Palm Beach,” Tracy shared. “My love for fashion drove me to work as a personal shopper. Being able to wardrobe clients and merchandise new collections, bright colors and bold prints was just what I enjoyed.”

A trip to a national championship football game, however, started the ball rolling down her ultimate path.

“My mom wore a basic, solid tank with a rhinestone logo that people just loved,” Tracy said; “but I told my step-dad that I thought I could create something better than that. He encouraged me to pursue the designer collegiate line like I had mentioned. So I left my job and self-taught myself design over the next 18 months.”

My Team Boutique was what she called her very first label. Her work represented some top college teams and included wrap dresses that resembled football jerseys for women and tunic tops. She found instant success and 100% sell-thru, until she was sued for trademark infringement. While she was able to avoid any extensive litigation, Tracy knew she needed to step in another direction.

The Tracy Negoshian brand was established in February 2009; the company was opened amidst a national economic downturn, but built as a niche brand to cater to a broad clientele. The brand kept the price points affordable; clothing was made with machine washable fabrics; and ranged in sizes to fit the majority of the market. Tracy Negoshian launched with a straight dress line, but in the spring of 2013, added collections for casual lifestyle branded separates. What began at a small scale has grown to a national level with the brand being carried at over 500 specialty boutiques nationwide, including at Mayzie’s in Lakeland.

“I decided to create more of a lifestyle brand”, Tracy said. “We focus on lifestyle; Florida living is right at home for me, and for so many others. I’m so blessed to live in a state where many spend time vacationing. I’m very color and print driven. I absolutely love designs that encourage women to wear bright colors all year round.”

The Florida-based brand has found enormous success, to the point that they plan to open their first flagship store in Naples, FL in the fall of 2013. Tracy’s mother, Linda Smith, will manage the store, showing how supportive her family is of her dreams.

While her team helps to keep operations running, Tracy spends much of her time working on design and inspiration as well as going to market.

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“Florida isn’t really known for designers,” Tracy admits. “We do what we can to create buzz locally – I attend as many events as I can. I live on the West Coast of Florida now. I look at trends like all designers do, but don’t focus on dark colors; each collection represents what I like to wear as a Florida resident and doesn’t stick to trend forecasting.

“I am constantly ‘eyes open’ to everything; like in a restaurant, I might be staring at the tiles on the floor. One collection is comprised of colors of the lighthouse waters and lighthouses themselves. I’ve used the pattern of a wrought iron fence. The littlest things can spark an idea for an all-over print. We design 12-16 months before it’s sold in stores. We have to have the collections in time for trade shows and our sales representatives throughout the U.S. There are lots of little steps.”

Tracy continues to see growth both in the industry and in the brand. While there’s hard work, and occasional extensive travel required, she remains motivated.

“The brand is not just for one demographic; we create for women from 18-60. My own mom is a testament to that. I spend each and every day designing products to enhance women’s self-confidence and happiness through color and print. Our company motto reads: ‘Dress in Confidence’ and I am always complimented when I hear women say that they feel beautiful by wearing Tracy Negoshian. Their feedback is a huge payoff. “

“After working on a collection for so long, nothing beats the excitement of the photo shoot where a model brings it to life.”

For more information about Tracy, her collections, and store locations, please visit www.tracynegoshian.com

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