We continue to get to know the MR Advisory Board, today meeting Katie Liu and Michael Kreiman, the dynamic duo behind Black Dog 8 Showroom. Besides representing some of the most exciting labels in the menswear market, the partners in life and business are also fans of travel, cuisine, and dogs!
Michael’s career began with the legendary apparel company GFT in the Valentino Uomo division. He continued working with Italian brands, later getting involved with design, product development, and merchandising for the US-based/Italian produced label Lazo. Katie shared a similar high-end, international path working for brands Moschino, Jean Paul Gaultier, DSquared, Maison Martin Margiela, and Diesel StyleLab, as well as American designer Michael Kors. In the early 2000s Katie and Michael launched Black Dog 8.
The two agree that owning their own business —and the freedom to make their own choices — is both the best and worst part of the job.
Katie says “I’ve learned to not beat myself up when I make a mistake, and to try my best not to repeat the same missteps, knowing slip-ups will happen again.” Similarly, Michael points out that “If you are going to make a career in menswear you must have patience and fortitude.”
When asked about the future of men’s fashion, Katie says, “I see men over 40 getting more confident in their fashion choices and experimenting with pieces they wouldn’t have imagined buying even five years ago.”
“I believe the near future continues to be in high-quality products, (production, yarn, fabrics) with meaningful historical backgrounds, leaning a bit right to center,” adds Michael.
On a more personal level, “People know Michael and me as foodies,” says Katie. “We take holidays around a cuisine or because a destination is known for its outstanding food.” (The two were headed to New Orleans at press time.) Michael even dreamed of opening a diner in a vacant East Village space on 14th Street and Avenue A.
Some of Michael’s favorite memories of working in the industry were “Early work trips for tradeshows or product/manufacturing research, to Italy, France, UK, Spain, Germany, Isreal, Slovakia, and Portugal. Those work trips enabled me to travel to even more exotic destinations for fun.” Another cherished “work” memory? “Meeting my partner in life and work, Katie Liu!”
Katie confides that “I’m actually terrible with retail math. My mom always thought I missed my calling as a lawyer but who wants to wear a pantsuit?! I loved oversized blazers and baggie jeans in high school, now I wear oversized blazers and baggie trousers, but the quality of fabrics is much better these days.”
Michael’s teenage style? “I always wore a mixture of vintage, including some of my father’s clothes from the 1950s and ‘60s. I loved Levi’s cords and Levi’s plaid shirts!”