The Glitter Plan: How We Started Juicy Couture for $200 and Turned It into a Global Brand

The Glitter Plan: How We Started Juicy Couture for $200 and Turned It into a Global Brand


View All Available Formats & Editions
Members save with free shipping everyday! 
See details


Part memoir, part business manual, and 100% juicy—the inside story of Juicy Couture, one of the most iconic brands of our times

While working together at a Los Angeles boutique, Pamela Skaist-Levy and Gela Nash-Taylor became fast and furious friends over the impossibility of finding the perfect T-shirt. Following their vision of comfortable, fitted T-shirts, they set up shop in Gela’s one-bedroom Hollywood apartment with $200 and one rule: Whatever they did, they both had to be obsessed by it. The best friends’ project became Juicy Couture. Pam and Gela eventually sold their company to Liz Claiborne for $50 million, but not before they created a whole new genre of casual clothing that came to define California cool.
Pamela and Gela built an empire from the ground up, using themselves as models to build their patterns and placing their merchandise by storming into stores and handing out samples. They balanced careful growth with innovative tactics—sending Madonna a tracksuit with her nickname, Madge, embroidered on it—and created a unique, bold, and unconventional business plan that was all their own: the Glitter Plan.
Now, Pam and Gela reveal the secrets of Juicy’s success: how they learned to find and stick with the right colleagues and trust their instincts when it became time to move on to their next project. They also share their missteps and hilarious lessons learned—like the time robbers stole one thousand pairs of maternity shortalls, which the partners took as the first sign to get out of the maternity clothing business.
Told in the bright, cheery voice that defines Juicy style even today, The Glitter Plan shows readers how to transform passion and ideas into business success. Aspiring designers, Juicy fans, and business readers of all stripes will be enthralled by the story of spirit and savvy behind Pam and Gela’s multimillion-dollar fashion empire.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781592409358
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/19/2015
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 800,186
Product dimensions: 5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.65(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

After graduating from Carnegie Mellon, Gela Nash-Taylor was an actress until she entered fashion. She is married to John Taylor of Duran Duran. They and their two children live in Los Angeles and the UK.
Pamela Skaist-Levy is a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. A former costume designer, she is married to writer/producer/director Jefery Levy. They have one son and live in Malibu.

The partners launched their new line, Skaist-Taylor, in 2012.

Read an Excerpt

The thing that’s great about a small, entrepreneurial work environment is that the people working with you be­come like a family.

It was a fun, crazy place. In the office, our favorite toy was the intercom system. We sang over the loudspeaker, we talked over the loudspeaker, we told jokes and did funny voices. Everyone felt the excitement of the brand momen­tum. When you walked into Juicy Couture, you had to pass by our office. The door was never closed, and we listened to our employees. As an entrepreneur, you have to be open to suggestions. It took all of us to take the brand to the next level. Everyone brought something to the party that was part of who we were and what we became. When compa­nies get bigger, everybody just wants to stay in their lane and not make waves

We wanted to hear what everyone was feeling about the fit, feel, and overall vibe of the collection because the women who worked with us were the women we wanted to dress. We all tried everything on—that was our culture. And we knew we had a hit when everyone in the office became ob­sessed with a product, from the funkiest girl to the most conservative girl. We weren’t divas or megalomaniacs. Ideas got thrown into the pot, and sometimes they stuck. We wanted the Warhol Factory, or maybe we should call it the Glitter Factory—an amazing, creative place where not only could our company grow, but our employees could thrive, too.

We were selling tops and jeans. But Juicy Couture needed more, more, more, if it was going to become a full

fledged lifestyle brand. Shaller kept telling us to design knit pants to go with the tops, fill out the line, and grow the business, because knit pants would be a natural progression from our origins in the knit top business. It was the right instinct, because even when you introduce new products, you still have to be true to that first thing that’s you. For Ralph Lauren, it’s the polo shirt. For us, it was the T-shirt. But knit pants? They didn’t seem like something we would wear . . . more like something our grannies would wear. We couldn’t get past the idea that they would be clingy and unflattering, and we were superconcerned about . . . well, let’s just say it rhymes with “mammal show.”

But the idea of pants that matched the Juicy colors of our shirts was something that resonated with us. We had long conversations about how we wanted to design a modern-day uniform of coordinating pieces that women could throw on to create a monochromatic look and in­stantly feel put together. (One of the alternate names for our company, if you remember, was Uniform.) We wanted a no-brainer, Garanimals wardrobe experience—a chic Garani­mals wardrobe experience. If you don’t know, Garanimals is a line of children’s clothing launched in 1972 on the idea of easy-to-match separates. Each item features an anthro­pomorphic character on the hangtag, so children can easily dress themselves by choosing matching items with match­ing hangtags. We wanted to create a similar thing, only for adults, fashionable, luxurious, and minus the hippo-on-hippo action. { 94 }

We also figured that a coordinating world would be easily shoppable. We loved the idea that if you went into the store and picked out this pair of baby-blue pants, boom, you had a baby-blue T-shirt and cashmere sweater that matched it. We wanted to take the mystery out of putting together an outfit and be the stylists to the world. And although we didn’t know what it was called per se, that skill was merchandising.

We looked back to the brands we lived in when we were growing up in the 1960s and 1970s, for ideas about every­thing from color and fit to trim and packaging. One brand was Dittos, which made Farrah Fawcett’s favorite, high-waist jeans in dozens of bright colors, with saddle-back yokes to flatter the butt. Landlubber jeans were hip huggers with the perfect flared leg, and MacKeen jeans came with a collectable metal keychain attached, which girls used to wear like charms hanging off their purses. Another influ­ence was LA designer Nancy Heller, who started her com­pany in 1973 with buttery-soft, French-made T-shirts and later expanded into casual, colorful separates. Then there was New Hero, another amazing LA brand, founded in 1974, that made 100 percent cotton drawstring pants and matching tops with three-quarter-length sleeves and two strings at the neck that never tied. Those New Hero sets, which were as comfortable as pajamas, came in tons of col­ors, too.

In early 2000, we started playing with two different de­sign concepts. One concept was a line of hip-hugging, Dittos-like twill pants in bright colors that matched our T-shirts. And we really believed it was the one that was going to take us to the next level. But just in case, we had another concept—a line of terry-cloth tops and bottoms. We thought terry cloth was the most amazing 1970s fabric, and Gela had found the mother lode of terry-cloth inspira­tion while she was shopping like a maniac on that first trip to Japan. It was the T-shirt that changed history, as it turned out.

Reprinted by arrangement with GOTHAM BOOKS, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © PAMELA SKAIST-LEVY, GELA NASH-TAYLOR, and BOOTH MOORE, 2014.

Customer Reviews