My Brooklyn based brand offers genderless clothes and focuses on giving consumers sustainable options in the streetwear and athleisurewear market, with sustainable packaging and consciously sourced materials as well as transparency and made-to-order production.
I'm the sole operator of the brand, and am responsible for designing, drafting patterns, sewing all samples and orders individually. Additionally, I run the photoshoots, social media, website and all business aspects. As you can imagine, it is very challenging but I would love to see my brand grow because I spent so much time, heart and energy on it.
After successfully completing my apprenticeship as a tailor at the renowned apparel company Gerry Weber International, and after finishing my certificate as a patternmaker with Mueller and Sohn, I was awarded to be Germany’s Best Tailor. Right after I moved from Germany to Brooklyn, NY. This was 6 years ago and since then I've been working very hard to both survive in the city and set up the launch of my own apparel brand: I graduated Summa Cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree in Fashion Merchandising and Management within two years and had multiple jobs at the same time to finance my dream. I made samples for high end fashion brands, made haute couture dresses valued at $10,000, assisted at photoshoots, worked on garments for the NBA, MTV Music Award, Met Gala, Saturday Night Live, Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, and Red-Carpet events, to name a few. All this while working on my own designs, launching my LLC, and registering trademarks.
Although these past years were challenging, they offered me experience and personal as well as professional growth. I stayed focused, so that this past March 2021 I was finally able to launch my own clothing brand. Countless hours of work went into blk top KOPE and I continue to work on it every single day. Truth be told, I'm very exhausted and often feel overwhelmed managing an entire brand by myself. But I remind myself were I started, and I know I’ll continue my work.
This past October I had the opportunity to showcase my second collection at Fashion Week Brooklyn, which was the first time in 6 years that I was able to show my work publicly. Then a couple days ago I received the unexpected offer to showcase my next collection at the New York Fashion Week in February 2022. I would have never dreamt to be part of the NYFW, especially not so soon. But obviously this is the dream every designer has, and I cannot miss out on this unique opportunity to finally show what blk top KOPE is about. Moreover, it would show me that all my work, pain, and financial hardship hasn't been for nothing.
Background of blk top KOPE:
I am very dedicated to the craftsmanship of fashion, but I believe that we all have the responsibility to better the world around us. So, I want blk top KOPE’s bigger purpose to have an actual impact. And the NYFW would provide the platform to let everyone know about our values:
1-Sustainability and environmental focus away from fast fashion and fashion workers' exploitation.
2- Give back to the community: with every order blk top KOPE donates to the local organization The New York Center for Children, who provides free, bilingual, trauma-focused, comprehensive evaluation and therapy services to victims of child abuse and their families, for as long as their healing requires.
3- Social Responsibility: We cannot be quiet about racial injustice and discrimination around the world. Therefore, with selected pieces, blk top KOPE donates to the Loveland Foundation, which aims to bring opportunity and healing to communities of color, and especially to Black women and girls. With barriers affecting access to treatment by members of diverse ethnic and racial groups, the Loveland Therapy Fund provides financial assistance to Black women and girls seeking therapy nationally.
The participation at NYFW comes with costs that I cannot afford, no matter how hard I work. The participation fee costs $10.000. In addition to the basic fee, I will have to pay for photography, videography, models, marketing, and other production costs. Therefore, I am asking for your help. Please help me finance blk top KOPE's participation at NYFW. It would mean everything to me, because I put everything I have into blk top KOPE. By helping blk top KOPE's success you are not only helping a woman and immigrant, but you are also supporting the move away from fast fashion, which is a major factor in environmental pollution, waste, and labor exploitation.
Every donation counts and helps me so much! If you want to learn more about me and my brand, please look at my website www.blktop-kope.com
and Instagram @blktopkope.
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