Local fashion line ANTIX Apparel Street Couture got its name from the literal definition of antics, “odd or amusing behavior, pranks, tricks, foolery — our lifestyle,” co-founder Kohara Paige says. So for the debut of the next ANTIX collection, February, she decided to throw a larger-than-life party, with aerial performers, live painting, a lot of champagne and, of course, a fashion show.
“We need all the antics there,” Paige quips.
ANTIX was established in 2010 by both Paige and Jasmine Bowman. The company makes streetwear, complete with staple comfort items like sweatpants, hoodies and T-shirts. Paige noticed the first question often asked in regard to the ANTIX brand was, “Do you make men’s clothes?” Her reply: The clothes are for everyone.
“We’re in streetwear, which is obviously a male-dominated game,” Paige explains. “What I love about it is everything is unisex now. Girls are into oversize T-shirts. I don’t focus on size anymore, and I love that.”
There are some pieces intended specifically for women, like crop tops. But she wants the clothes to remain accessible, whether they’re worn running errands or going out for drinks.
“I like being comfortable,” Paige says. “So if I can create dope stuff that’s comfortable but still edgy, that’s my main goal. It’s not really what you wear, but how you wear it.”
When the line first started, the clothes sported bold messages and colorful, lively patterns, like incorporating paisley into the Colorado flag on a T-shirt. As the brand grew, Paige and Bowman decided to back away from the bold designs, hoping to appeal to more people. But now, with the debut of the February collection this Sunday, Paige is excited to bring some of the original designs back into the fold.
“People have been asking for some of these designs for four years,” she says. “I think when you’re up-and-coming, it’s hard to keep your customers that want the same stuff over and over. But as a visionary, you want to do different stuff…so this year we’re focusing on having both.”
For the collection and the fashion show, Paige was inspired by celebrating life. Back in 2014, she first had the idea for a fashion show around her birthday. But the timing wasn't right. As she thought about it over the years, she realized she shares her birthday month of February with other noteworthy people like Trayvon Martin, Dr. Dre and Michael Jordan. She felt a connection to their passionate personalities and wanted to bring that joy to life through the clothes.
“[Martin] was the catalyst to start the injustices of police killing our kids,” Paige says. “So I felt a connection with him because our birthdays are really close to each other, and from all the research that I’ve done, he was a really passionate person, just like I am. It’s pretty much life or death with us.”
The February collection includes twelve new designs and a few classic, original designs. The collection has pieces like leggings, crop tops, dresses and a surprise shirt. Paige’s favorite piece in the collection: a hoodie displaying a photo of Trayvon Martin wearing an ANTIX hoodie.
“We put some really unique things into this collection,” Paige says.
Over the years, ANTIX has never used official models to showcase its clothes, only its customers. Paige explains that what is now known as “ANTIX Sightings” began as requests for selfies of customers in the clothes. The Sightings, as seen on the ANTIX website, shows different people wearing ANTIX apparel going about their daily routine. Paige feels it’s important to see the clothes off the rack, which provides an opportunity to see their versatility in action.
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“Everyone who knows me, I’m on the go, and my personality is interchangeable,” Paige explains. “I can operate in all walks of life, and the brand reflects that. The same brand you’re wearing to a brainstorm session is the same brand you can wear when you finally land that big deal. It’s a lifestyle for go-getters and all the antics that go with it. Pun intended.”
So when it came time to cast models for the show this weekend, no one was turned away, and many of the models are customers themselves.
“The brand is organic,” she says. “That’s why the models are such a diverse group, just like our customers. I want people to see themselves in the clothing, and we showcase that by creating gear that’s really for everyone.”
The Antix Show, 9 p.m. Sunday, February 25, McNichols Building, 144 West Colfax Avenue, $25.