Ginsburg excels in second career as fashion designer


Published:

Marla Wynne Ginsburg, 61, designs clothes for women of her age, whom she believes are ignored by fashion designers.

SENIOR LIFE photo

Marla Wynne Ginsburg, 61, was forced to start over at the age of 56 after a lucrative career as a producer in TV and film with series such as “Highlander” and “La Femme Nikita.’’

She was cashing in six- and seven-figure salaries when the Hollywood writers’ strike came in 2007 and the Great Recession hit in 2008.

When her financial ruin was imminent, she took action.

She decided to start down an entirely new path — fashion design. She loved designer clothes, owned a closetful, and during work in Paris had formed friendships with people in the fashion business.

“I went out and bought a sewing machine. Just that simple,” Ginsburg told Inc. magazine editor Leigh Buchanan in the March 9, 2017 issue.

Although she is entirely self-taught in fashion design, she was able to secure a quarter-million dollars in purchase orders from Nordstrom and Home Shopping Network (HSN). She hesitantly filled orders using her credit line.

“I knew if I didn’t make those first orders I would never get back in,” she said.

Ginsburg said she designs clothes for women of her age because she believes they are ignored by fashion designers.

“There were these sort of icky missy clothing companies,” she said. “There was Eileen Fisher, which was very pricey. Nobody was really making clothes to address the changing body and lifestyle of a Boomer. We may be dinosaurs, but we still need clothes.”

Ginsburg brought on designers the same age as herself and her customers.

“A young designer does not understand that. I don’t care how much time you spend in the gym, your waist is going to thicken; your butt is going to drop; you’re going to get a little extra something on your back; your metabolism is shot … ,” she told Buchanan of Inc.

Her company MarlaWynne Collection, featured on HSN, has more than $10 million in revenue. Working 15-hour days, seven days a week, Ginsburg’s daughter now works beside her, with hopes that her son may join them. Her children inheriting the business, she said, is “the secret bonus of my life right now.”