Mogul of the Week…. Cody Ross
Written by Urban Mogul Life on January 30, 2010
As some of you may know starting a business is hard work, especially clothing lines. With so many brands on the racks and online it is hard to make your Fresh stand out from the rest. Entrepreneurs have to walk a fine line deciding how they will follow recent trends but yet stay ahead of the competition. One bad season of gear can spell the end of your empire, just look at FUBU. Once the fickle audience decides your brand is no longer “instyle”, it is out with old and in with the new. Why would anyone in their right mind sign-up for such an unforgiving profession?
Recently UML had the chance to chop it up with Cody Ross, the founder of Priestess NYC, a womens/unisex clothing label based out of New York. Priestess NYC unique clothes have been worn by She-Moguls such as Tyra Banks, Bjork, and Keri Hilson. Ross specializes in keeping his clothing line fresh, innovative and cult “offering several collections, from ready-to-wear to unique unisex and artisan. Priestess NYC is considered a radical and innovative atelier with a focus on craft, authorship and commerce; thought of as iconoclastic because its whole oeuvre challenges conventional notions of authenticity.”
1. What made you decide to create your own clothing line?
For me, fashion design is an excellent creative outlet. It forces me to strive to be creative and stretch artistic boundaries. I decided to do the Priestess NYC line because it is the BEST form of interactive-art and I can get lots of constructive feedback.
2. How long have you run it?
Priestess NYC is in it’s 5th season. It has tons of momentum at the moment!
3. What obstacles have you had to overcome to make your dream a reality?
All the normal obstacles of starting a business: raising capital, configuring the value-chain, intensive market research, and chasing customers. It’s all about nurturing the brand and making the business sustainable. The hardest thing as been the recession and a general climate of uncertainty.
5. How can customers purchase your line?
The line is available at the coolest stores worldwide and online:
Ad hoc (China)
UK Style (Russia)
Thistle & Clover (NYC)
Ad Hoc (Shanghai)
Premium 93 (Dallas)
Friendship Store (China)
Lane Crawford (select, Asia)
Welcome Hunters (LA)
Diablo Rosso (Panama City)
Reborn Montreal (Can)
Secret Service (Taiwan)
Queen 2 Trash (Greece)
Em & Co. (LA)
Twist (Kuwait City)
6. What is your inspiration for the line?
The line’s aesthetic can be thought of as a blend of ‘transgression, kitsch and street-style.’ Part ‘80s revival, part futurism with a smattering of goth-glam, Priestess NYC incorporates urban-girl cool with a contemporary take on proto-punk and hip-hop.
Cody Ross is a Dallas-born fashion designer. He is known for his kitschy and sometimes provocative designs. After working in Asia for several years as a financial analyst, he returned to the United States to pursue his true passion (womenswear design) and launched Priestess NYC in 2008.
His unique creations have been worn by celebrities and super-models alike, in addition to the aforementioned Tyra Banks, Bjork and Keri Hilson, Juliette Lewis and Katy Perry have been known to don Cody’s creations as well. The line has attracted buyers from avant-garde boutiques and department stores around the world. Cody’s main inspiration comes from abstract art, mathematics and ‘vintage-punk.’ He designs out of his West Village townhouse-cum-atelier and lives full-time in NYC. Cody’s work has been featured in i-D, Dazed and Confused, Arena Homme+, etc. and is sold a ‘progressive’ fashion stores around the world. He has a BSc from the London School of Economics as well as credentials in pattern-construction + design from London’s Central Saint Martins. Official website: