Is Marcus Lemonis the Heidi Klum of CNBC? Short answer: yes.
While “The Profit” continues to travel around the country to restructure and save small businesses from going under, in Season 4 of the series, Lemonis’s role seems to mirror Bravo’s “Project Runway.” Fans of the show will learn that the leading voice on entrepreneurialism can also produce a killer line of women’s clothing.
On Tuesday (Aug. 23), Lemonis returns as the man with a plan — the infamous P/P/P plan to be exact, (People/Process/Product) — to decide which new companies he’ll be going into business with. One of those lucky partners is none other than women’s fashion designer, Susana Monaco.
Lemonis is the person to hit up for an expert opinion on numerous subjects … but high end womenswear? When invited to attend their collaborative fashion line’s premiere event — which was being filmed for the series — Zap2it was more than a little apprehensive to see what was going to walk down the runway. Especially, since Monaco mentioned he had taken on much more than just a producer role — Monaco had given Lemonis the final say on every look.
Once the models started strutting down the catwalk at the Hugo Hotel in Soho, all doubts were wiped away. Monaco’s Spring line looked fantastic. Beautiful in its simplicity, we wanted each dress and romper that was presented to the crowd. It was hard not to wonder, when did this serial entrepreneur learn to design a successful line of women’s clothing?
The answer is simple, according to Lemonis. He asked for help.
“I called a number of retailers, wholesalers and stores,” he explains. “And asked, ‘What happened?'” He listened to places like Bloomingdales and Nordstroms and learned why they were no longer buying Susana’s brands: “They said it simply wasn’t good anymore and I and took it from there.”
Monaco gives Lemonis a large amount of credit for her new line’s aesthetic. Even if it did all come together at the last second.
“We made three dresses this morning,” she says. When asked what inspired such drastic last-minute changes, Monaco laughed: “Last night he made comments like, ‘Do you still feel strongly about these?’ And I looked at [these three dresses] and thought it does still seem messy. It does have that element that needs to be removed. So we removed them.”
Lemonis further explained the 24th hour revamp saying, “I felt like when I met Susana, she was all over the place. And I wanted the focus back to what she does best. And I wanted the line to represent the new her.”
“So when I saw the product disorganized and all over the place,” he continues. “I wanted to take it out of her line-up. Because I don’t think that’s how her mind functions anymore. And I wanted the focus back to what she did best. [This collection] works for every shape, every age and I like to invest in things that work for everybody. They are very classic pieces that could work for decades.”
“There’s a lot of investors that are investing in the next great thing,” Lemonis explains. “And I think you can get into the biggest pot of gold with people who have been there before, and who’ve done it before, but might’ve lost their way a little bit. The fashion business is very tough. And if you’re today’s great thing, you’re yesterday past. So, I wanted to give Susana the freedom and resources to go back to what she does best, and not worry about all the nonsense.”
Monaco’s Spring collection will become available for customers to buy sometime in Jan. 2017. For more information about the designer’s brand, check out her website here. Could Lemonis’ next series be a “Project Runway” spin-off? Anything is possible.
“The Profit” Season 4 premieres Tuesday, August 23, at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CNBC.