“We are a golden unicorn.”Pauline LockProduct Development and Bulk Production Manager
“Immigrating to this country with nothing and becoming self-sufficient made us all stronger.”
Born and raised in New York, Pauline Lock comes from a hard-working immigrant family, who strove to make life better for the future generation. She credits seeing her parents build a life from nothing as what drove her to have the ambition to work hard and succeed. While she initially expected to become a lawyer, she opted to go in a completely different direction when the time came to enroll in law school: she joined In Style USA as a bookkeeper with the owners, Tina Yu and James Mallon, taking her under their wings.
Pauline was always intrigued by the construction of clothing — as a child, she would make her cousins’ Halloween costumes. Her mother was a seamstress and as a result, Pauline was familiar with the industry, yet she never imagined that she would find herself working in the Garment District. Twenty-five years later, not only is she part of In Style USA’s leadership team, working as the Product Development and Bulk Production Manager, but she is also proud to be known as the gatekeeper to Tina Yu. This title was not handed to her; she earned it thanks to the dependability she’s been known for from the very start of her career.
“We’re a golden unicorn.”
Over the years, In Style USA has worked with the best designers, with Pauline personally developing many of these relationships and collaborating closely with such well-known teams as the Calvin Klein and Donna Karan ones to ensure that their visions were brought to life. She worked very hard to maintain and grow her clients’ trust and in doing so, was instrumental in helping In Style USA build a loyal customer base. It’s this same trust that led some of the larger brands’ senior designers who eventually started their own clothing lines to continue working with Pauline and In Style USA once they left.
Of course, In Style USA’s success is based on the guarantee that the creation process will be handled with the utmost expertise. The production process is broken down, so that each area has its own team of specialists who focus on specific product categories, styles, and types of fabric. Each product is handled by experts every step of the way.
“We are always looking for ways to improve.”
As a progressive company, In Style USA constantly looks for ways to improve, with leadership regularly making enhancements that benefit both the designers they work with and their employees. Prior to the pandemic, In Style USA was looking to make its production more sustainable and less wasteful. The team was donating fabric scraps, and Pauline, Tina, and James were looking to update their technology and equipment to improve accuracy and speed. The management team has always been very growth-oriented, not hesitating to invest time and money to build an increasingly solid business.
Like most New York City businesses, In Style USA has had to learn how to survive both 9/11 and COVID-19. After 9/11, everything came to a stop, and it took some time for the fashion industry to recover. Located in the Garment District, In Style USA was next to Penn Station and Port Authority, which subjected the company to several bomb alerts and building evacuations. People were in panic mode and the mindsets were different. Today, the effects of COVID-19 are reminiscent of that period, with panic and fatigue permeating all aspects of society and business. One difference though is that COVID-19 has allowed for some businesses to pivot their production and produce Personal Protective Equipment. In Style USA started producing masks for various designers, helping save lives and simultaneously retaining important jobs.
“We are staying positive and moving forward.”
While realistic, the In Style USA remains very positive about the future. The company is taking all the necessary precautions to keep its employees safe and working, but the current circumstances make predicting even the near future quite difficult. As such, the team has moved from long-term planning to a much shorter-term perspective. Deeply convinced that success is about adapting and moving forward, the In Style USA team is confident about the road ahead: they plan to continue adopting new technologies, optimizing business operations and increasing profitability.