At The Venue

“We help anyone who has a love for knitwear develop their craft.”

Fanny Kong and Lorie Lee

Fanny began At The Venue only two years ago.

It’s incredibly uncommon for knitwear to be produced in the US. Fanny Kong and Lorie Lee are rare experts in their craft and, with several years of experience working with well-known brands at an established company, they saw a unique opportunity in the garment industry. At The Venue is in the early, startup stages, but with a growing staff and client list, it’s clear that this is just the beginning.

At The Venue is a one stop shop for independent designers looking to develop their vision and produce a line of garments. Designers come with concepts and ideas, and this team helps them execute it all. From yarn sourcing, to sampling and mockups, Lorie and Fanny support every stage of garment design. On top of these unique services, they also produce in small production runs of about 100 pieces – a service that would normally be out of the price range for any new designer.

at the venue
machine at the venue

We really believe in the new, young designers.

Fanny and Lorie are the ideal partner to help new designers create their first line of knitwear. With their connections, they consult with yarn mills and ensure designs are produced with the right materials and stitching types for each unique garment and designer. Lorie explained “Fashion schools don’t train on knitwear, so we do.” Creating these garments locally and in smaller quantities is essential for new brands. Offering this service at an affordable rate is more than rare.

Supporting emerging designers means infinite potential for At The Venue. Helping designers establish their brand and build a successful business establishes a powerful relationship, one that Fanny and Lorie hope ensures long term production partnerships.  “We want customers to work and grow with” says Fanny.

“People love that we actually have knitting machines. They’re surprised that small factories still exist when so many have closed down.”

Only a handful of businesses still make sweaters in the United States, which means that very few workers have the specialized skills needed for knitwear. Those that did have long since retired. The skill gap is just one obstacle for this team. It’s expensive to produce sweaters in NYC, especially small production runs, which creates a huge barrier of entry for startups and emerging designers.

But this team is determined to succeed and confident in their unique value proposition. “This is service that needs to be available to new designers.” says Lorie. 

sweaters nyc

Q&A with Fanny and Lorie

What keeps you motivated?

Knowing that the potential is there. There’s so much potential in our business and with every young designer we work with.

What’s your advice to someone starting out in this business?

It’s always challenging to start a new brand but success will come if you believe in yourself.

What work have you most enjoyed?

We love that we are still learning while teaching. Working with young designers means that we can learn together.

Favorite place to have lunch in the Garment District?

People watching in Bryant Park.