Ross School - Senior Project 2007-08

Student: Paul Montemarano            

Mentor: Mr. Eldi


Title: Rise of Don: Creation and Development of a Fashion Line


In my Senior Project, I track and publish the creation and development of my fashion line, Don. Fashions from a mere ambitious idea to a fully functioning and profitable line in a book which also reflects my graphic design abilities. It is a look at how I balanced learning the fashion industry solely through experience and self education and then applying it to my business.  I project the invaluable lessons I learned which are applicable to all businesses and the connections I have made which will last a lifetime.  I also reflect the progress I have made through the countless press clippings and coverage, to events and fashion shows, to the progression into a successful money making venture. 


Don. Fashions Book


While deciding on my senior project, I decided on either something to do with boxing, or something to do with my clothing line.  I had been boxing for about four years and it was something very important in my life, yet I was unsure of a good project to portray my dedication to boxing.  I ended up deciding on my clothing line, which had been rapidly growing, and taking up more and more of my time.  I decided that it would be more practical to reflect my experience with the clothing line throughout the time of the senior project in a book, which I would design and publish. 

The idea of becoming a clothing designer and to start my own line stemmed off of my experience in graphic design as well as my interest in appearance and fashion.  After playing around with a new program, Adobe Illustrator, and coming up with a few designs which were liked by friends and family, I decided to invest some of my hard earned money into having some shirts printed with the new designs.  After hours and hours of research and trial and error, I finally came up with the name and had my first shirts made through a screen printer in North Carolina.  I began selling them in school and slowly began promoting and creating awareness for the brand.  I designed and re-designed the website and had stickers, flyers, and other promotional material made up.  The brand began growing and becoming well known amongst the local market. 

Over the summer, I had decided to throw a fashion show and after party at my family’s resort, Gurneys Inn, to promote and create awareness, a following, and gain some more press recognition.  I spent a solid month preparing, and working on things such as picking up sponsors, planning the layout of the event, finding models, staff, security, dj, and bartenders, promoting, renting equipment, arranging for samples to be created and on time for the event from the Philippines, and much, much more.   With the help of my outside consultant and publicist, Ingrid Lemme, we created a good amount of buzz and excitement for the event through multiple press outlets, and picked up some great sponsors.  The show had over 300 attendees, and was a great success.  We had plenty of press coverage and a great response from all the attendees.  We sold our entire stock of products and made a good amount of money on the event.

In October of 2007, we did it all over again with another fashion show in the city, with Social Life magazine at a nightclub called Arena.  We had to hire professional models from a modeling agency, and worked with a professional photographer for a photo shoot the night of the event.  This show was another great success and a great way to break into a new market.

As far as my product, I had to learn an entirely new program called Adobe Indesign, which is used to design books and other literature.  I watched hours and hours of tutorials to learn the program and spent hours physically designing the book and deciding on the style of the book.  I had to have it printed two times because a mix up at the printer which resulted in each page of the book being one page off.  But I was very happy with the end result. 

Overall, I gained some great lifelong connections and learned invaluable lessons, which are universal to all businesses, through the senior project experience.  My brand has grown exponentially and has a bright future, which will help pave the road for the rest of my life.

Works Consulted

Adam, Robert, and Carol Robertson. Screenprinting. New York: Thames & Hudson, 2003.

Dawber, Martin. New Fashion Illustration. London: BT Batsford, 2003.

"Defining Men's Fashion." DNR. Viewed Winter 2008. <>.

"Dobizo.Com." How to Start a Clothing Line. Viewed Spring 2007.<>.

"Google Analytics." Viewed Autumn 2007. <>.

"Highsnobiety." Viewed Summer 2007. <>.

"Hypebeast." Viewed Spring 2007. <>.

Ireland, Patrick J. Figure Templates for Fashion Illustration. London: BT Batsford, 2000.

Seaman, Julian. Fashion Illustration Basic Techniques. London: BT Batsford, 1996.

"Slam X Hype." Viewed Autumn 2007. <>.

Vogel, Steven. Streetwear. San Fransisco: Chronicle Books, 2007.

"Women's Wear Daily." WWD. Viewed Winter 2008. <>.

Community Member (Details)

Ingrid Lemme is my outside consultant.  I began working with her the day I decided to begin my clothing line, and has helped me with the countless pieces of press coverage, and endless connections which have helped me immensely.  She handles the public relations for Gurney's Inn, which is how I met her and I have known her nearly my entire life.  She is the owner of Hamptons PR and she hosts her own 12 year old Talk Show, The American Dream on WVVH Hamptons TV.  Her writing includes the award-winning syndicated column, Mon-talk, both locally in print and internationally as an ezine. She is Founding President of Women East End Executives (WEEE), and she is a Chairperson of Seven Stars And Stripes®.