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Who’s Hot: Fashionable entrepreneurs line up booming business

<p>If the funk is in fashion, then fashionpreneurs Paul Badley and Lena Maria Azzou are right on the money with their urban line, Pablo B. Clothing.</p>




Courtesy of Pablo B. Clothing


Lena





Lena Maria Azzou

Age: 24

Occupation: Urban Fashion Designers





courtesy of pablo b. clothing


Paul






Name: Paul Badley

Age: 27

Occupation: Urban Fashion Designers





If the funk is in fashion, then fashionpreneurs Paul Badley and Lena Maria Azzou are right on the money with their urban line, Pablo B. Clothing.


“The idea of (starting) my own line came to me when I became overwhelmed with orders for clothing I made,” says Badley, 27, a former George Brown College fashion student.


Badley, who immigrated to Canada from Guyana at 16, realized his vision when he befriended Azzou, 24, herself an Italian immigrant of Arabian/ Brazilian decent with a styling background.


Almost one year ago, Pablo B. Clothing with its identifiable signature and eagle motifs became the buzz of young urban movers and shakers.


Sales via word of mouth poured in, and since the launch of their website, pablo-b.com, business is now booming with orders for the line’s shirts and jackets hailing from Toronto, New York, Jamaica and Denmark.


“We’re overwhelmed,” says Azzou, who notes that once an order comes in, Badley is the first to zip behind the sewing machine. The garment is hand-made that very day and shipped within a week.


Badley is the 50 Cent-looking mastermind behind the designs and manufacturing whilst Azzou, who, in addition to contributing her two cents worth towards the women’s wear, oversees the line’s marketing.


They have invested every hard-earned penny of theirs into the venture, and like most entrepreneurs, are consumed by every facet of its operation -— from clothes and web designing to styling photo shoots and staging fashion shows to sales and shipping.


So far online retailing and stocking their clothes in select stores across the city makes more financial sense than racing ahead with setting up their own boutique.


“We have to pace ourselves,” says Badley, who is also in synch with his label’s connection to music. As showcased on the website, the duo have aligned themselves with a staple of Pablo-sporting hip hop, reggae and pop artists, and DJs with more to come this year.




whohot@rogers.com

 
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