Dubu Fashion, Inc.

“I love a challenge.”

Joanne KimOwner

Joanne Kim, the visionary force behind Dubu Fashion, didn’t stumble into the world of garment manufacturing — instead, she consciously carved her path, driven by her passion for design, integrity, and steadfastness.

Joanne’s entrance into the dynamic world of fashion was marked by her pursuit of knowledge, as she earned degrees in both fashion design and knitwear at the Fashion Institute of Technology. This educational foundation set the stage for a distinctive career that would eventually lead her to establish Dubu Fashion.

After graduation, Joanne dove into her fashion career, starting out as a production manager in the Garment District. Her natural curiosity and desire for hands-on experience led her to explore a new role in factory production: “I was really interested in working in a factory and wanted to learn specific skills.” Hungry to acquire additional skills, Joanne then spent the next five years working as a manager and pattern maker.

I knew a lot of Production Managers, and secured Dubu’s first projects from these relationships.”

In parallel, Joanne also began working part-time, completing pattern making projects for her own clients. With these new relationships, she began establishing a name for herself. These side projects continued to grow, eventually leading her to establish Dubu Fashion in 2019.

For Joanne, each and every part of the job is a source of joy, reflecting her genuine passion for the dynamic nature of the fashion industry. Her company is driven by a mission that revolves around collaboration, uniqueness, and a vibrant, youthful energy that sets it apart from industry norms.

While the transition to entrepreneurship was not without challenges, Joanne’s resilience and strategic thinking have been critical to her success. Drawing on her extensive network within the industry, she has carefully curated Dubu Fashion’s team, ensuring a seamless blend of talent and experience. The decision to bring on board individuals with whom she had previously collaborated speaks volumes about Joanne’s leadership style and her ability to foster strong professional relationships.

Many projects have moved overseas, but some work will always be done domestically as clients understand the benefits of having local partners.”

With a keen eye for detail and a commitment to quality, Joanne has built a service portfolio that encompasses nearly every stage of garment production. “Our clients are producing thousands of samples overseas, but between 5-10% are still done domestically.” Joanne points to the benefits of working with local experts — precision is key, and some projects need to be completed under a watchful eye, with the ability to touch and evaluate samples quickly.

The Dubu Fashion team is focused on continuously evolving in order to adapt to the ever-changing fashion industry: “We get projects done quickly, and by masters of their craft.”

Joanne’s commitment to quality, customer service, and authenticity are woven into the very fabric of her company and give it a distinctive edge in the competitive fashion landscape. Working in her busy factory, her passion and drive are clear to clients and staff alike. She thrives on the energy of new ideas, and the opportunity to keep creating extraordinary work.

Q&A with Joanne Kim

What work have you most enjoyed?

I want to say... everything!

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

Keep your quality high, always. People change and move around in this industry, and you want to be a constant, and known for reliable work.