Bill Meyer, ’18 (XP-87), who graduated in April from Booth’s Executive MBA Program, dreamed up DesignerShare after noticing a huge peer-to-peer gap in fashion-sharing businesses such as Rent the Runway. Knowing he needed someone with fashion expertise to partner with, he asked longtime friend and lifestyle journalist Sarah Perkins to team up. Perkins had frequently loaned her designer items to girlfriends in her college business fraternity and thought the idea of creating an online platform where women could monetize their own closets was “genius.” They joined forces, and DesignerShare launched in spring 2017. We asked the cofounders what keeps them current as they manage their uniquely two-sided marketplace.
Meyer: My favorite book of late has been anything on the syllabus for the class I was taking at the time. Since I enrolled at Booth, my interest in economics and finance has grown. I enjoy Richard Thaler’s work in behavioral economics—I’m an elected official in my town and those readings have informed the contributions I make to municipal politics and government.
Meyer: If it’s made by Apple, I tend to use it.
Perkins: I listen to NPR’s news podcast Up First to find out what’s happening in the world. And after I first used SpotHero’s parking app, I just can’t stop.
Perkins: Ever since Maria Grazia Chiuri took over at Dior, she’s made a breakthrough in bringing feminism to fashion’s forefront. She’s taken a classic house known for Parisian couture and put this spin on it with the $700 “We should all be feminists” T-shirt.
She’s bringing a lot more cool back to Dior and more of a social consciousness. That also fits with the DesignerShare mission.
Fashionistas can loan and rent high-end clothing and accessories on DesignerShare, Meyer and Perkins’s online platform.
Meyer: I’m looking forward to plugging the TV into the cable box now that I’ve graduated...
Perkins: I love crime shows and need to watch American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace since it’s also fashion related.
Perkins: A Chicago-based designer I really like is Dana Rebecca. Her pieces are delicate but statement making. They’re seen a lot on the red carpet. Also anything vintage Chanel.
Perkins: I just went to BLVD in the West Loop for Chicago Restaurant Week. It has an old Hollywood design that’s gorgeous, and the food was delicious.
Meyer: I’m a fan of Indian food— anywhere on Devon Avenue is a good bet. Matar paneer, or “cheese and peas,” is my favorite dish. I can’t have enough of that.
Perkins: We have so many style influencers here in Chicago! One is Olivia Rink. She’s always on point. My celebrity style inspo is Amal Clooney. She always looks cool but put-together.
Meyer: If I could look more like George Clooney, that would be great.
Perkins: I think George Clooney is Bill’s style icon!
—By Gretchen Kalwinski