Daniella Capitano is the latest entrepreneur to set up shop in downtown Las Vegas.
The recent graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York has taken over a closet-sized space on the second floor of the Emergency Arts building on East Fremont Street to launch her American Vagabond brand.
Besides displaying a modest selection of casual women’s clothes, the 150-square-foot boutique also acts as Capitano’s office as she designs her first clothing line and operates her online store.
“The American Vagabond lifestyle brand would be similar to myself,” Capitano said. “I travel a lot, and I don’t necessarily have time to come into a store and shop. That’s the idea behind the online concept.”
American Vagabond is also a blog with advice about food, places to go locally, travel, style, hairstyles and makeup. Capitano said it’s everything for “a woman on the go.”
“It was summer break when my girlfriend and I went to Europe,” she said. “We were packing and she said, ‘No, we are going to do this in one suitcase.’ The idea for my business came from that comment.”
Capitano said the joke was, “we were the American Vagabonds.”
“When I got back, I thought, ‘What a great idea for a business,’ ” she said. “I would like to have a shop somewhere and have those casual pieces available.”
In other words, clothes women can mix and match in a store or online.
“A black dress … throw on a velvet blazer and it looks amazing,” she said.
Capitano moved to Summerlin in April, but quickly found herself in downtown Las Vegas.
“I felt inspired by all the startups and what the small-business owners were doing,” she said. “Summerlin is great but it didn’t have that sense of community in art and fashion. That creative environment.”
The opportunity, affordability and redevelopment also attracted Capitano downtown.
American Vagabond opened in December. Capitano expects to launch her own casual clothing line later this year, but for now she’s featuring designers from Australia and Southern California.
“When I was in New York, I worked for Jeffrey Montero, so I got a chance to see the whole backend and how everything was working,” she said. “Having a clothing line and not yet having an audience is challenging.”
Capitano decided to start her business with a small retail outlet and online shop.
“I can build my brand and they’ll be more accepting when I launch my line.”
The retail space’s size is limiting, but Capitano was determined to have both brick-and-mortar and online open by the end of 2012.
“The dream would be to have an actual store, where people can come in and shop, get styled, have an office with a warehouse for (merchandise) and shipping. That’s the goal,” she said. “I would love to get a place downtown.”
In terms of profitability, Capitano said American Vagabond is “still here.”
“The first year is always the hardest,” Capitano said. “I would say I’m set up for the first year and there is a lot going on. I will be profitable.”
Contact reporter Chris Sieroty at
firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-477-3893.
Follow @sierotyfeatures on Twitter.