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Making an impact one design at a time

Written by  Sable LeFrere /
Illmatix Cloathing Line

(InthekNOwla) -- NEW ORLEANS | Fashion is style. It is also art, but who usually looks past the cut of a shirt or what is printed on it…not many. For some, however, fashion is more than looks. It is way of life: a way to express oneself not only physically, but also mentally.
Over the past few years, New Orleans has seen a recent increase in young businessmen and women, ranging from high school students to college students, who have started their own clothing lines. Though some create their pieces based on the art of fashion alone, there are others who take it a step further.

Illmatix Cloathing Line 2Loyola University students Hope Henderson and Sasha Poche along with Sasha’s younger brother, TJ Poche, all had the same creative energy of wanting to make a difference in their city. And what better way to accomplish this mission than through the use of fashion, enabling them to stand for a cause that would affect their city and eventually make an impact globally.

“We started a clothing line as a way to release creativity and positivity into the world,” said Sasha. “ We are passionate about fashion and social justice and this seemed like the perfect marriage of those two passions.”

The trio created their clothing line, Illmatix Apparel, in March 2010 in hopes of expressing their artistic talents while influencing those around them to become more socially aware of certain issues. Since then, the trio has used their natural talents along with Hope’s graphic design skills and Sasha’s business experience to expand their brand and participate in different events.

With inspiration coming from notable figures such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., spiritual leader Mahatma Gandhi, and others who have had a positive influence in the world, the trio is no stranger to promoting good deeds. “The message behind the clothing line is about helping out our brothers and sisters locally and around the world who need it, especially those suffering and lacking the necessities of life,” Hope explained.

In their first charity event, Illmatix helped raise money for victims of the Japanese tsunami. The trio made and sold their own fashion buttons and donated the profits to the Red Cross Relief in Japan.

Aside from participating in charity events, Illmatix is also no stranger to the runway and New Orleans nightlife. They have participated in local fashion shows and parties, helping other clothing line owners with the planning, model casting calls, practices and the actual events. “The fashion shows and parties are always a huge success with numbers upwards of 1,500 attendees,” said TJ.

And the trio has some big plans for the future and has started to put those plans into action this summer. “We are planning a charity event for the end of this month to help the tornado victims in Alabama,” said Sasha. “The party will also be the release of our summer clothing line, ‘Heat Wave.’”

In addition to the clothing, the trio also hopes to release Illmatix accessories as well.

With help from its street team, Illmatix stands behind its name and will continue to offer its audience unique design styles and an outlet to become involved.

Hope added, “We pride ourselves on standing up for what is right and looking good while doing it.”

For more information about Illmatix Apparel, please visit their Facebook page.

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Last modified on Monday, 20 June 2011
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