In 2009, longtime friends Laurence Chandler and Joshua Cooper saw an opportunity to fill a void in the menswear market and merged their professional experience, along with their shared passions of art and design, to create New York City-based men’s clothing brand Rochambeau.
Since its launch, Rochambeau has been recognized by the industry and developed a passionate consumer following. Today, Rochambeau has showrooms in Milan and Paris and is carried at high-end retailers globally. The fashion house participated in the launch of CFDA’s Men’s Fashion Week. Currently Rochambeau is a finalist for the International Woolmark Prize and is participating in the second round of the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund.
Rochambeau designers Laurence Chandler and Joshua Cooper credit the label’s early success to its New York roots. The family-owned generational factories, where the designers produce their clothing, are some of the best in the world. The convenient locations, which are close to their design studio, allow them to be on-site to monitor quality and ensure that deliveries will be on time.
However, since these factories are small businesses themselves, they have strict financial requirements, which restrict their cash flow, as well as prohibit growth and the ability to make long-term decisions. Consequently, it became too costly to continue to manufacture in New York, especially as a self-funded company. In fact, the costs became so overwhelming that they stopped manufacturing for approximately four months and began to look at alternative options, like factories overseas.
In 2014, Rochambeau began working with the NYC Fashion Production Fund, which provides the following marketing financing support to emerging designers that are headquartered and manufacture in New York City. The fund is a joint partnership with Capital Business Credit and the New York City Economic Development Corporation. The NYC Fashion Production Fund provided Rochambeau with purchase order financing with more flexible terms than those of traditional lenders and factoring companies.
Through the working capital that’s provided by the NYC Fashion Production Fund, Rochambeau is relieved of its daily financial stress. The Fund enables them to:
Within the last two years of working with the NYC Fashion Production Fund, Rochambeau doubled its orders each season and went from five stores to 40. The Company also doubled its number of full-time employees.
Laurence Chandler, Co-Founder and Designer of Rochambeau, said: “The NYC Fashion Production Fund has removed a lot of the daily concerns around financial growth, allowing us to focus on our long-term brand strategy. The Director of the Fund, JoBeth Tananbaum, is not only a mentor but has also a valued partner in the success of Rochambeau.”