OSFashion | Open Source Fashion


Open Source Fashion is a helpful community of fashion and retail professionals.  What had started as a NYC based networking group, is now much more!  Our focus is on education and collaboration.  Learn how OS Fashion’s business services can help your company reach the next level.


A personal letter from founder, Pavan Bahl:

I started this group, not knowing a single person in the fashion industry.  I’ll never forget how I felt after hosting the first Open Source Fashion Discussion series on March 3rd, 2011.  I was anxious, excited, a bit overwhelmed, and very pleased with how the evening went.  To my surprise, I had gathered a roomful of ambitious, intelligent, and helpful professionals who all seemed quite appreciative of the experience. I remember thinking, “how the fuck?!”

At the event, I had a conversation with Melissa Gonzalez of Lion’esque Style.  This is a snippet:

MG: “How did you go about getting all these people here?

PB:   “I spammed the shit out of the industry and crossed my fingers.”

MG:  “…but, why go through all this effort?”

…good question:

Why I Started OS Fashion:

As cliché as it is, I’ve always had a passion for fashion.  Though I hate that it rhymes, there isn’t a much better way to phrase it.  At a young very young age, I was that kid that laid out a selection of shirts and pants on the floor of my bedroom, to take a step back and wonder what combinations would go best.  Moving forward, I gained a true appreciation for the art of fashion, and the craft that goes into producing a well-made garment.

I’ve dreamt of starting a fashion line for most of my adult life.  For the past couple years, I’ve been playing around with the idea of launching a luxury sandal line for women.  My friend Nehal owns Lit Boutique in Boston, and had helped me market test two initial styles.  They sold, I figured out my target audience, and set price points.   Fantastic…now what?  I’m not a salesman, I have no brand awareness, I’m not familiar with this industry, and not every boutique owner just so happens to be a good friend of mine.

I was spending a lot of time working at coffee shops around NYC, working on marketing strategy for my sandal line.  It was at Think Coffee on 4th Avenue where I had a fortunate encounter with Jeannine Morris of Beauty Sweet Spot.  We got to chatting after I had lent her my MacBook charger.  She suggested that I get involved with Fashion 2.0, a networking group organized by Yuli Ziv of Style Coalition.  I did just that.  There was such a great energy to this group!  I met some wonderful folks, learned a bit about upcoming technologies, and enjoyed some nice cocktails at venues I didn’t know existed.  My main takeaway from getting involved with Fashion 2.0 was that there is a serious influx of talent that is looking to break into the fashion industry.

During this time, I was reading every business whore-ish material I could get my hands on in hopes of finding direction, education, and clarity.  A book barista at Barnes & Nobles had recommended I read Never Eat Alone, written by Keith Ferrazzi.  It’s a self-marketing book, with a concentration on strategic networking.  I’ve always been a connector of sorts, and I love meeting people…so I decided to give it a shot.  Similar to any other marketing books I’ve read, Never Eat Alone comes off as gimmicky, but contains lessons that provoke creativity and inspiration.  The entire book had a “give and thou shall receive” message.

Between Fashion 2.0 and Never Eat Alone, it all came together.  I need to learn…others need to learn. I need to meet people in the fashion industry…others need to meet more people in the fashion industry. I like helping others…others like to help.  Organizing Open Source Fashion was an extension of that thought process.  What had started as a way to peddle women’s shoes, has taken on it’s own shape.  Open Source Fashion has become what I had envisioned, a helpful community of fashion innovators.

As per the sandal line, I’ve taken a bit of a step back for the time being.  My focus is to develop OS Fashion into a powerful resource for innovators working in the fashion industry worldwide.

Pavan Bahl, Founder
OS Fashion



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