February 24, 2016
Gaurav Bhargava's entrepreneurial spirit first emerged when he was studying at NIFT in India as a fashion design student. Eight years later, he arrived at FIDM, receiving a degree in Merchandise Product Development. In 2001, he joined Fantasy Activewear Inc., where he helped grow the business substantially and became vice-president. In 2015, he partnered with Sel Manufacturing, the largest yarn manufacturer in India, and HnH Apparel which took the ownership in the MLB division, supplying licensed product found at the largest retailers in the United States. With his own company, Irvine, California-based MLB Interntional, Gaurav has created several brands: LADRFT, Torque, Routeen, and LPH.
How did FIDM help prepare you to run your own businesses? As a student, FIDM prepared me for the intense fashion industry environment. Months after graduation I realized how valuable the classes were. Studying the curriculum that specializes in structuring, exploring, and analyzing new ideas in the fashion industry helped me to think outside of the box and start my own company.
Tell us about your businesses. MLB was started as a division of HNH apparel with the parent company being SEL Manufacturing in India. SEL Manufacturing is a fully vertical mill which makes apparel and terry towels. We make and ship all over the world about 40 containers a day of yarn/terry towels/apparel. MLB International has three divisions:
Product Development: from the tech pack to the end product, we source and produce goods for many of the action sport companies in Orange County and few licensed apparel companies. We source our products from China, India, Bangladesh, and Mexico.
Manufacturing: We source our products from China, India, Bangladesh, Mexico, and USA. I was part of a Made in USA program that was initiated by Walmart. We are still producing Men's and Junior products domestically.
Branding: Launching and curating several new lifestyle brands that are and will be sold direct to retailers.
What are some of your successes you can share with our readers? Developing a new wash that the buyers loved--it performed on the top-selling list for the company. Also, with the mass market price, timing and quality come in play all equally. I am very proud to have surrounded myself with world-class sourcing and production from around the globe to give the customer a great product.
What are your ultimate goals for your business? Creating a culture of brands that customers will appreciate and become repeat customers through the following:
Social - Goals that focus on giving back to the community, through philanthropy or volunteer organizations.
Profit - Have a financially stable company with moderate growth.
Growth - Goals related to the expansion of the company, through new employees and better technology.
Categories: Fashion Design, Apparel Industry Management, Alumni News, Careers, Merchandise Product Development