How Milan Rouge built a multi-million dollar fashion empire from the trunk of her car

Abu Mubarik September 26, 2022
Milan di Rouge. Photo credit: hauteliving/Milano di Rouge

Milan Rouge is a Philly native, influencer, author, entrepreneur and founder of the fashion brand Milano DiRouge. She first started as a blogger writing on a wide variety of topics like sex, dating, and relationship among others. She also interviewed entrepreneurs and got inspired along the way to start her own fashion brand.

Within the first three months of blogging, Rouge had recorded 100 million page views. “If I can capture this audience, I should sell them something,” she told herself, according to Haute Living. Initially, she wanted to make T-shirts with cool slogans but later came up with the name Milano Di Rouge and designed the shirts which she sold out of her trunk.

To build her brand, Rouge relied on social media although she had only two sweatshirts. She posted one online and wore the other one. She used the money she made from the sale of one shirt to create and sell five more. She then kept flipping and flipping until she was able to produce mass quantities.

She now offers a full line of women’s, men’s and children’s clothing as well as outerwear and a variety of accessories. Her recent addition is baby and kids collections, which was influenced after having her son.

Rouge is in a field heavily dominated by men. Getting a foothold in the market was challenging for her as everyone she had to work with, like photographers, videographers, and manufacturers, were all men. According to her, she had to force them to respect her.

“I know that I’m an attractive young woman and I feel like a lot of women that are attractive use their looks to get certain things, but I didn’t want to be that woman. That’s not me. I had to show them that I’m about my business and I mean it. I was confident and secure,” she told Haute Living.

Through hard work and perseverance, Rouge has built a trending fashion brand from nothing. She is most notably the first female to build a blossoming streetwear fashion world in a highly male-dominated industry. Some publications put her in the category of the likes of Jerry Lorenzo, Virgil Abloh and more. Also, one can find her clothes on celebrities like Cardi B, Meek Mill, Monica Brown and more.

Rouge attributes her success to growing up in Philly which she says influenced her fashion sense as well as her hustle and entrepreneurial spirit. She has noted that the toughness and grit of Philly made her resilient and enabled her to have a healthy sense of humor.

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