At My Desk: Fashion Entrepreneur David Helwani Is Knee-Deep in Fabric Swatches and Samples

Sharon Feiereisen


You can tell a lot about a person by snooping through their desk: Are they the tchotchke type, or the gold-plated staples type? Do they scribble their thoughts in a Moleskine notebook, or Postalco?
David Helwani, the founder of Twenty Montreal and LaPina by David Helwani, keeps his workspace as clean as he can, but given the popularity of his ever-growing fashion brands, his office is constantly flooded with samples and fabric swatches, making his desk as much of an inspiration board as a workspace.

1. Desk Phone: “I’m not really sure why I have this phone because when I’m not on the computer in the office, I’m doing business remotely via my cell phone,” Helwani shared.
2. New Inventory: “This is the Ursula dress from the LaPina by David Helwani collection in a new fall colorway,” Helwani shared. “The initial colorway was picked up by a number of retailers, including Neiman Marcus and Intermix, and it immediately became a top seller, so we expect this style to be a LaPina classic.”
3. Fabric Development: “At any given time you can find 50 to 100 fabric developments on my desk,” Helwani says. “My family and I own a fabric mill in Montreal—we’re 100 percent vertically integrated and it’s where we produce the fabrics for Twenty, LaPina, and a host of other brand names. I think the fact that I can source all the fabrics from our own mill is what sets Twenty and LaPina apart. We’re able to offer products made from luxury fabrics at prices that no other contemporary brand can offer or compete with.”
4. Computer: “I’m on my computer literally all day when I’m in the office,” Helwani shared.
5. Samples: “There are constantly samples coming in and out,” Helwani says. “These are some recent ones that have come in from various shoots.”
6. Lookbook Shot: “This is a shot from our Spring 2013 lookbook. Both looks were best sellers at Intermix and have been worn by countless celebrities including January Jones and Alessandra Ambrosio.”
7. Fabric Swatches: “These are some fabric swatches we’re considering for the Spring 2014 Twenty collection,” Helwani shared. “Going forward we’re looking to include more perforated fabrics, more mesh, and more textured jersey.”
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