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The Struggle

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

Nanette Lepore's first store was in the East Village glamorously located between a gas station and a soup kitchen. Her dad mortgaged his home to help the young designer set up her first shop, but it wasn't enough. Rent was five hundred bucks and she struggled to make a profit for ten years: "Don't expect to pay yourself more than 50 cents an hour because that is what you're going to get." [Racked]