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Aviator Nation, a high-end clothing brand founded in Southern California, is known for its comfortable, colorful clothing and laid-back ’70s style. Founder Paige Mycoskie launched the brand in her Venice Beach garage in 2006 and s has since expanded to 17 outlets.. Celebrities like Reese Witherspoon, Jay Z, Matthew McConaughey, Zac Efron and Jennifer Aniston are among the many who have been seen sporting the brand, including its signature tracksuits.
Unlike many founders whose businesses seemingly exploded overnight, Mycoskie never took on outside investment — she owns 100% of the business herself. From the start, she has relied on expanding lines of credit from banks to sustain her business. “If I were to take money from someone, I would have to owe someone something, and it wouldn’t be under my control. I wouldn’t feel the freedom I feel to design what I design,” Mycoskie said. Forbes in an interview for her 2022 issue “America’s Richest Self Made Women.” Mycoskie ranked 80th on the list, ahead of some of the most notable businesswomen including Kris Jenner and Serena Williams.
Keep reading to learn more about Aviator Nation founder Paige Mycoskie.
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Who is Aviator Nation founder Paige Mycoskie?
Hailing from Arlington, Texas, Mycoskie grew up far from the world of surfer fashion she is entrenched in today.
The entrepreneur got her first taste of fame in 2002, when she appeared on an adventure reality show Fantastic raceby Forbes. When the show’s press tour took her to California, she said her love for the state’s laid-back lifestyle began.
“I will never forget going to the beach and seeing people rollerblading, biking, playing frisbee, volleyball and surfing,” Mycoskie said. Forbesadding, “and I was like, ‘Oh my God, this is my dream.'”
Mycoskie pursued a career in journalism after her time on the show, but she didn’t feel fulfilled. So she quit her job and found herself working at a surf shop in Venice Beach.
Although she had no prior design experience, Mycoskie enjoyed working in retail and began designing her own after-hours retro surf-inspired clothing. “I started making clothes for myself as a hobby and they naturally felt 70s,” the company owner said in a Q&A on the Aviator Nation blog. “I’m obsessed with comfort and (so I wanted to) figure out how to make it fashionable.”
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What is Paige Mycoskie’s net worth?
Aviator Nation has grown steadily since its inception in 2006, but sales have taken off in recent years, dropping from $70 million in 2020 to $110 million in 2021, according to Forbesand are expected to at least double by 2023.
Because Mycoskie owns 100% of the company, Forbes estimates his net worth at $350 million.
The brand’s apparel is so coveted that a 20% off sale it held during the Covid-19 pandemic with profits going to AV’s 300 employees brought in $1.4 million in sales, revealed Mycoskie, calling the initiative “enormous.”
Demand for the brand remains strong, despite criticism over its price – sweatshirts and sweatpants range from $160 to $190. “From the perspective of people who can afford it, it allows them to signal their wealth well, but also to signal those other values like ‘I’m laid back,'” Alixandra Barasch, associate professor of marketing at the Stern School of NYU . Company, explained to Forbes.
Is Paige Mycoskie related to Blake Mycoskie?
The entrepreneurial gene seems to run in the Mycoskie family: Paige Mycoskie’s brother is Blake Mycoskie, founder of Toms Shoes and co-founder of Madefor.
However, the siblings took different approaches to funding their ventures: Unlike Paige, Blake brought in outside investors and creditors eventually took over her 50% stake in Toms in 2019.
Speaking about her sister’s business experience compared to her own, Blake said Forbes“She just stays true to what suits her and her instincts. That’s something I wish I had done better at Toms.”
Along with founding similar surf-inspired brands, the siblings also got their start in Fantastic racewhere they competed together, and they remain close today.
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