Dilascia Before The Profit
Patrick DiLascia started his clothing business in Lol Angeles after uprooting his whole life from New York City. He gave his brand of screen printed t-shirts his last name. He built up his business from nothing, starting with a website and a storefront, and moved to serving big stores such as Nordstrom and Barney’s New York. His brother and sister ended up following out to LA to help him with his dream. When Patrick’s largest retailer for his products closed, he was in a bit of a bind. Everything started to fall apart, and Patrick and his siblings were at each other’s throats. They began to lose sales, and fall deeper and deeper into debt.
Marcus likes Patrick’s designs, and he had already invested in some fashion brands in the recent years. He saw the potential for investment. He was willing to help, but he wanted to see if he could harness Patrick’s creativity first. Marcus Lemonis was on a mission to visit DiLascia and see what he could do to help take the struggling clothing business to the next level.
DiLascia on The Profit
The flamboyant Patrick welcomed Marcus from his desk at the front of the store and got up to shake his hand. The shirt that Patrick was wearing featured the DiLascia logo, which Marcus has seen all over in his travels – from the internet to Barney’s and Nordstrom’s. Patrick explained that he had drawn it out the old fashioned way – on a piece of paper. He explained that he was from upstate New York, where his family owned a bakery as well as another business. Marcus discovered that Patrick’s father was still in upstate New York in the bakery, and his mother had passed away. Patrick took his sorrow from the loss of his mom and channeled it into living his dream in LA.
As Marcus went through the clothing on display, Patrick explained his fashion history. He informed Marcus that he started his career as an associate at American eagle, then worked in Italy doing sweater product ion for Armani, before moving on to being a buyer at Burlington Coat Factory. He was the buyer for the entire 600 store chain. Marcus seemed impressed – especially after Patrick told him that he had a license and an exclusive branding deal with TMZ. He explained that big licensing deals like Patrick had been right for two reasons – they showed that Patrick was a good salesman, and it also told him that he had talent since the big names were trusting him with their brand.
Patrick informed Marcus of his sales break down – most of his sales came from the men’s department, then kids. Women’s apparel only accounted for 20% of DiLascia sales. Marcus told the camera that Patrick was not offering enough’s to women, and that’s why they weren’t buying. Patrick did not sell hoodies, fitted shirts, or tank tops. Marcus was then introduced to the owner’s siblings, who helped him out with the store. Patrick’s sister, Kelly, expressed her desire to sell more feminine items in the shop.
Marcus probed into DiLascia’s financials and discovered that their sales were heavily dropping. They went from revenue of over a million dollars in2014 to $900 000 the next year, and only expecting to do $600000 in 2016. This was in part due to a large retailer of their products, Kitson, going out of business. A third of their revenue dropped from that closure. Marcus told the camera that being able to lose a third of their business just from one account going away showed him how vulnerable they were. Marcus wanted to see DiLascia get more wholesale accounts than they currently had.
Patrick’s brother Dan informed Marcus that the LA store only brought in $60,000 a year, which had to be entirely eaten by rent. Patrick said that he used the store like his office. It was where he made wholesale accounts and handled the rest of the business. Patrick insists that it felt like his office and his home. His brother sarcastically told him that it was an expensive house. Patrick owned 100% of the business, but since sales were dropping he could no longer pay his siblings. Patrick himself wasn’t even taking a check most months.
Marcus wondered where the money came from to open the store. Dan told him they each received a $100,000 inheritance from their mother’s death. Patrick spent all of his portion on purchasing the store. His brother Dan helped him start up the first shop, and loaned him $20000 to go towards the company. His sister attempted to help by trying to bring some structure to the business. Patrick seemed to resent her for it. He expressed that she made him feel like his opinion did not matter. Kelly explained that they needed to change the processes when the store started to lose money, and Patrick was not very open to that experience. Patrick argued that he was the one with all the buying experience, but he was the youngest of all of them, and it showed.
Patrick brought Marcus to the warehouse, where he also had all of his shirts printed. It was there that Marcus started going over Patrick’s financial. He discovered that they had $207,000 in negative equity, and they were essentially out of business. Marcus was worried that he would be investing in a creative mind that was unwilling to bend or make compromises. Marcus decided to spend $200,000 for 50% of the equity, and of course, he would be 100% in charge. He also wanted to give 10% ownership to each of his siblings, while remaining equal partners with Patrick.
Marcus announced his intentions to grow the women’s category, work on product development, and pay off some of the outstanding receivables to the vendors. Marcus also told Patrick that he saw his raw talent, and it was his job to rip it out. Marcus worked with the three DiLascia siblings to develop a process of inventory and brand development. He found the entire store to completely unstructured. Marcus brought Patrick to his other investment in LA; a clothing brand called Two Arrows. They showed him their development process and offered him room to rent where he could work and be inspired. Marcus was strongly suggesting that they sell the store. When Patrick put up resistance, Marcus made an ultimatum and Patrick finally agreed to close the store.
Marcus aided DiLascia in working up the women’s line, believing that if they added hoodies and sweatpants, they would add much more value to each purchase. Patrick followed all of Marcus’s design ideas and experimented on his own. He then had a focus group with the finished designs at another of Marcus’s businesses – Courage B. He was getting lots of feedback, but wasn’t very open to it. Marcus had to address it. He was taking DiLascia to Bloomingdale’s. Patrick was in his element at the sales meeting. They liked him enough to offer him the opportunity to do a trunk show.
The day of the trunk show, Marcus discovered that the box of graphic tees and sweatshirts did not arrive in time, and Patrick did not get on the phone to deal with it. While Marcus was disappointed, he was impressed that Patrick stepped up to make all the changes that Bloomingdale’s wanted. He was happy in the investment, recognizing that even though Patrick was immature now, he was taking the necessary actions to better himself and his business. The process was working, even if it was happening in baby steps. Let’s take a look at how they did once Marcus wasn’t always keeping a watchful eye.
DiLascia Now in 2017 – The After ‘The Profit’ Update
Since they filmed the show in April of 2016, DiLascia seems to be doing quite well for itself. Patrick joined forces with Marcus’s ML Fashion Group in New York City, and they currently run the e-commerce portion of the DiLascia brand. The DiLascia website currently has a small section dedicated to male and female “People, process, and product” tee shirts. They never did expand their women’s line. The women’s section of the website simply features four graphic tees – and that is literally it.
Patrick seems to be on to new and different things. He launched another brand called Patrick that was meant to be a higher end line of fashion than the tee shirt brand. He once again has a brick-and-mortar store in LA, this time under the Patrick name. The wholesale price for hoodies is apparently up to $85, so I shudder to think what the things retail for. They are very attractive, but clearly out of my price range. The store actually shares space with the DiLascia warehouse and factory. If you want to check out the new website, click here. The description claims to bring you the best in “casual luxury.” There’s a man’s line, and a girls and boys line – but women’s clothing is clearly absent from the page. Perhaps Patrick got burned out trying to meet women’s clothing needs on The Profit, or perhaps he’ll add some in later.