We had the good fortune of connecting with Alexander Korda and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alexander, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I decided to start LoveLostManhattan — a unique swimwear brand for women between the ages of 16 to 24 — after repeated conversations with my peers that led me to discover a major gap in society and the marketplace within the fashion world.
We are living in a time where social media expectations have come to dominate women’s perceptions of themselves and their feelings of self-worth. Countless young women still say that fashion and modeling spaces have not welcomed them or given them positive experiences. Big brand swimwear companies focus on the value of a girl’s followers rather than the value of the individual. This discourages many young qualified and talented women and makes them feel like there is no space for them within the industry.
That’s where LoveLostManhattan was born. I was determined to address this problem by not only giving my friends an outlet to pursue their dreams and kickstart their careers, but also to build a positive lifestyle brand and a community where all women can feel welcomed and empowered. No matter your background, your experience, the size of your following, or what makes you tick as a person, you will home within our community of empowered women.
What we’ve created is a student-run company that addresses this gap in the market and creates the kind of space society needs more of these days. Our brand is run according to our values in all respects — from the ethical sourcing of our materials, to the inclusive, positive social media content we produce, to the encouraging atmosphere in which our team thrives creatively. We have representatives and brand ambassadors from all across North America and beyond — including Florida, New York, Toronto, and even Greece. Hopefully, as we continue to grow, our market and message will expand all over the world.
As we approach our first major product launch for the summer of 2022, these motivations have already paid off. Over 682 women have applied to work with LoveLostManhattan. Dozens of aspiring models, designers, and business students have been able to earn money and gain valuable experience through our platforms, which hundreds of thousands of fans have viewed our content.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
The business world likes to say that risk equals reward. Unfortunately, this creates a perception that success has an easy formula.
I have developed a more complex formula to success than what others have tried. I believe that taking risks creates opportunities, which is what creates value, and value is what gives you your reward. This means that value is the most important thing when starting your business. You must be able to incorporate this within your team, your product, and the way you operate.
Our brand creates value in a number of unique ways. A big part of this is the “LoveLostGirls” community of empowered women that we have built. Through projects like our monthly podcast, which features new members in each episode, young women are able to to feel connected and engage with topics they care about, such as breakups, empowerment, and travel.
We are also organizing large scale social events for our community to have fun and get to know each other better, including a very exciting boat party in the Great Lakes region.
But most of all, I am excited about our June swimwear drop — the first big launch of our main apparel lines to the general market.
I’ve learned many lessons along the way — especially the lesson that, as a business owner, nothing will go as planned and you have to be prepared to think on your feet and quickly make decisions that can impact everything. There will be times where you doubt yourself and feel like giving up, but what separates you as an individual is always believing in yourself and the cause you are fighting for.
I believe every entrepreneur should have a cause that makes them feel their work is meaningful and deserves all the effort it will take to succeed. Ultimately, you are the only person who can make it happen and you must take charge of your vision in order to do so.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
The first place I would take a visiting friend would be South Beach.
Even though a lot of locals dismiss this area as a tourist trap, I see it as a diverse melting pot of fun-loving people from all around the world and all types of backgrounds.
I would then take them to the Design District to explore the creativity of artists who express themselves in every way imaginable.
For lunch, I would bring them outside the city to one of my favorite restaurants, Sicilian Oven in Aventura, where they have the best authentic Italian pizza — to give them a little slice of what a local enjoys eating.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
At the high school I attended, two individuals changed my life and perspective on success.
As a student, I had high hopes of attending Harvard University someday and worked towards that goal. I was devastated when I was rejected and started to doubt my capabilities. It was during this difficult time that both my school’s headmaster, Vince Pagano, and my guidance counsellor, Jeff Mitz, reassured me that my talent and capabilities were beyond a textbook and told me I had what it takes to change the world. I did just that and began looking at social problems in the world and ways I could fix them.
As well, when I was 15, I was one of two high school students selected to take part in a conversation with business mogul and Shark Tank star Kevin O’Leary due to my achievements in business class. This meeting inspired the entrepreneurial spirit that led me to see the world differently and pursue my ideas without fear, motivating me to follow in his footsteps.