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Thursday, May 31, 2012

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Gus Floris, Editor in Chief & Publisher of Apparel Insiders Our Coverage Sponsored by Hallak Cleaners the Couture Cleaner

Gus Floris

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For more than 20 years, Gus Floris has been pounding the pavement of Manhattan’s famed garment center. In the process, he's established himself as a prominent publishing leader within the apparel industry.

Having started his career at Sportswear International, a leading trade magazine for the fashion industry, Gus worked his way up the ranks and in a 10-year career advanced to the position of publisher. After a brief consulting project, Gus joined the team at Women’s Wear Daily as associate publisher. In his four years at Fairchild, he increased the advertising base in the contemporary market by 150 percent, and he helped to create and launch WWDFast, a new magazine for WWD that focused on the young contemporary market worldwide. 

After four successful years at WWD, Gus headed to the consumer-publishing world as fashion director of InStyle Magazine. At InStyle, Gus leveraged his industry relationships and developed significant new revenue streams from an untapped category: premium denim. For two years, Gus delivered 25-percent increases in one of the most difficult economies the advertising industry has ever faced. 

Not satisfied with corporate America, Gus left InStyle to consult for several prominent fashion brands on marketing, licensing and business-development strategies. In November 2010, Gus created an ambitious plan to launch Apparel Insiders, a new business-to-business media company covering the fashion trade. What started as online magazine quickly expanded into a multi-media company that publishes 100-percent unique content online and in a quarterly print edition. 

Through his career, Gus has remained at the forefront of fashion. In a series of leadership and creative positions that continue to develop, he delivers meaningful content to drive the fashion industry forward.  We are so pleased to present Gus Floris as our latest Mover and Shaker!  Peachy Deegan interviewed Gus for Whom You Know.

Peachy Deegan: What was your favorite apparel as a child? 
Gus Floris: As a young active kid, my uniform was sweats/shorts and sneakers, but when I went into high school, fashion started to have an influence in my life. Back then, it was the designer jean trend...Jordache, Calvin Klein, Sergio Valente, etc. Parachute pants were another big trend for me.

What or who do you think are the moving forces behind the fashion industry at the moment? Several initiatives are having a major influence in the apparel business. "Made in America" is gaining a lot of momentum right now. More and more brands (big and small) are manufacturing domestically. For the bigger, volume-driven brands, it's more difficult because the cost to manufacture in the U.S. is too prohibitive, but they're experimenting with capsule collections and limited runs. Another key area of growth will be in the men’s market. There is so much excitement in the young contemporary men’s sector for Fall ‘12.

Would you like to share with us your fashion philosophies? 
I feel that the values and beliefs you carry as a person shape your philosophies, whether personally or in business. I stay true to who I am and feel it's important to be honest with yourself and others. You need to stand out and be an individual, to push the boundaries of creativity. (You can always pull back, but you never want to fall short.) So whether you're designing a brand or running the business side of it, be creative and believe in what you are doing. 

How have you successfully increased your advertising base from publication to publication? 
As with anything, it's about the product first. You can never be satisfied, and you should always strive to do it better. We work tirelessly, creating exclusive content that's relevant to the business professionals in the fashion industry. In addition to that, it's about having creative ideas, working hard and leveraging relationships. 

What is your favorite thing(s) to wear today? 
Jean Shop jeans and vests.

What or who has had the most influence on your pursuit of excellence? 
Can it be two people? My brother-in-law, who mentored me in the ways of B2B publishing, and my wife.

What are you proudest of and why? 
My family, for obvious reasons. 

What would you like to do professionally that you have not yet had the opportunity to do? 
To author a book and screenplay.

What honors and awards have you received in your profession? 
I was voted class casanova and most likely to be a delinquent. I keep the awards on my mantel.

What is your favorite place to be in Manhattan? 

What is your favorite shop in Manhattan? 
Paul Smith on Fifth Avenue and 16th Street.

What is your favorite drink? 
The Greyhound: Tito's Vodka with fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice.

What is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you at a cocktail party? 
The craziest thing...having a little too much to drink with a client and having him sign a significant advertising contract on a bar napkin -- which he honored!

What is your favorite restaurant in Manhattan? 
Pizza: Pizzeria Numero 28; Sandwiches: Parm; Mexican: Maya; Italian: Café Falai. I like to eat!

What is your favorite Manhattan book? 
50 Shades of Grey. Oh wait, scratch that: It’s set in Seattle. I have to go with Mario Puzo’s The Godfather.

Who would you like to be for a day and why? 
As long as I would be able to bring back that experience to my current life, I'd have to say my 7-year-old son. He doesn’t have a care in the world, except to have fun with his friends. To be able to go back to a time where you feel free, uninhibited and have no pressure or responsibilities would be quite liberating. 

If you could have anything in Manhattan named after you what would it be and why? 
The Manhattan Bridge. Who wouldn’t want to be associated with an iconic structure that's an integral part of getting people to enter this one-of-a-kind city?

What has been your best Manhattan athletic experience?
Watching the Mets' miracle comeback in game six of the ‘86 world series. We were on a street corner in the West Village with 20 other New Yorkers, looking through the window of a bar, and everyone was going crazy. It was electrifying. 

What is your favorite thing to do in Manhattan that you can do nowhere else? 
People watching. Where else can you experience all the different cultures that make up this city? Manhattan truly is the melting pot of the world.

If you could have dinner with any person living or passed, who would it be and why? 
Frank Sinatra, as long as he brought along the rest of the Rat Pack. They were the coolest cats in town. It would be incredible to hear their stories. 

What has been your best Manhattan art or music experience? 
Taking each of my children to the museum for the first time.

What do you personally do or what have you done to give back to the world? 
For me, it's about helping young, talented people find their voice -- giving them an environment and the platform to express themselves and grow. 

What do you think is most underrated and overrated here?
Overrated: Meatpacking District. Underrated: New Yorkers.

Other than Movers and Shakers of course, what is your favorite Whom You Know column and what 
do you like about it? 
Patriotism/Made in the U.S.A. I believe it's time to bring jobs and industry back to America. Too many industries are outsourcing jobs and manufacturing. I can understand that there's a lot of pressure to get it cheaper, but I also know that consumers are willing to pay a premium if it's made here.

Have you drank The Peachy Deegan yet and if not, why not?  
No, I haven’t. If you would have asked me this when I was 17, I'd be all over it. Unfortunately, I'm no longer a fan of peach schnapps.

What else should Whom You Know readers know about you? 
I think they’ve had a enough of me!

How would you like to be contacted by Whom You Know readers? 
Email is the best way to contact <

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