Today on Business Rockstars, Ken Rutkowski talks with Talia Hancock, a teen model turned fashion entrepreneur. After graduating from business school, she started, Talia Hancock, a cross-cultural fashion company that blends Peruvian luxury with Southern California comfort.
Born and raised in San Clemente, California, also spending part of her childhood in Lima, Peru, Talia Hancock and her two brothers grew up with a foot firmly planted in each country and culture, the children of a Peruvian mother and American father.
Though previously flirting with a career as a journalist or TV news anchor, Hancock enrolled in Chapman University in Orange and earned her way toward a B.S. in business administration. While a student she worked in the designer department at Nordstrom, learning about premium labels and customer needs and designing a tee with a two-way zipper running the length of the back, letting the wearer control the sexiness of the piece with a simple zip or unzip.
As a student at Chapman University, Hancock presented a business plan, one unrelated to the fashion industry. The presentations were judged by trustees of the university, and after presenting hers, one of the judges offered her an opportunity to start a business. Together they decided on starting an apparel venture because of her factory connections in Peru and his relationships in L.A. Fresh out of business school in 2011, Hancock developed the line from one tee into an entire collection of casual separates that stand alone or can be layered and worn year-round.
About the company, Talia Hancock
Blending Peruvian luxury and tradition with Southern California comfort and style, the company, Talia Hancock is a cross-cultural label born from a desire for basic pieces with a premium feel, exceptional fit and imaginative functionality. Its handcrafted pieces are designed to make women everywhere feel beautiful and sexy, with flowing designs that may be layered and worn in multiple ways. Launching its full collection in Spring 2013, Talia Hancock can be found at Neiman Marcus stores and nearly 50 select boutiques across the U.S.
Talia Hancock is distinguished by Peruvian pima cotton, prized for its incomparable smoothness, sheen and versatility. Sustainably harvested by hand, its radiant fibers are exceptionally long and smooth, resulting in a silky texture which is highly resistant to pilling. All pieces, which are made from 100% pima cotton or pima/modal blend, offer superior ease of wear and care – highly breathable and hypoallergenic, every item is machine washable and dryable.
Along with accent fabrics such as chiffon, Talia Hancock pieces are enhanced by thoughtful details like two-way zippers, multiple button plackets and drawstring closures. Many elements are designed for versatility, such as one top that may be worn off the shoulder, with a cowl neck or even as a hoodie, based on how the drawstring around the neckline is adjusted. Zippers and snaps offer an antiqued look with rust-proof durability. Every Talia Hancock item is accented with a label inspired by manta Incaica, a traditional Peruvian fabric woven on Andean looms in the country’s highlands for thousands of years.
Talia Hancock initially began with under a dozen core basics in black, white and grey, steadily expanding into a broad line of tees, tanks, pants and leggings. Apparel News called the nascent brand “a refreshing balance between California cool and the culture of Lima, Peru.” For the Spring 2013 launch collection, Talia Hancock rolls out an accent color, mango, and dresses with sheer chiffon paneling and snap details. Most pieces are convertible, with a QR code on the label transporting buyers to the website to see multiple ways each item can be worn.
With a mission to create wearable fashion that’s not only beautiful but affordable, Talia Hancock prices its collections around a third less than brands of comparable high quality and attention to detail, with basics all under $100 and dresses in the range of $150. “I want women everywhere to feel comfortable and confident, whether they’re out on the town or just in their everyday lives. My fashions provide timeless Peruvian luxury for the modern woman,” she says.