FRENCH JUMPSUIT CREATOR LIKOBA LIGHTS UP FASHION RUNWAYS FROM NY TO PARIS by Nick Christophers
The fashion industry is an odd animal to tame since it re-creates itself so randomly it is hard to keep up. In the midst of the needle and the pen there are those who defy the odds and develop a whole new style that sheds new light on the runway. Agathe Likoba has done exactly that. Raised in France she was smack in the middle of the fashion world. But as a young lady fashion was not even in her DNA just yet she became a nurse and worked in the operating room before working in rehabilitation taking care of athletes and patients post orthopedic surgery. She then specialized in Terminal Ill unit caring for terminal stage cancer patients.
While working hard to care for others behind the scenes she would dabble with the dream of being a fashion designer. Her mother many times took her around the fashion stores on Sundays in Bruges where she bought her clothes and Agathe was mesmerized. It would take her sixteen years before she mastered and learned about the nuts and bolts of the fashion industry. Agathe was already familiar with the fashion boutiques that dotted the streets of Paris, Bruges and Venice. This along with her mother and grandmothers influence is where the fashion seed was planted. On the other side of the coin she was also inspired by the likes of Coco Chanel, Sophia Loren and others of their caliber.
“I bought my first jumpsuit in the north of Paris while shopping with my friends one day. That’s when I decided to start looking for more and realized that there were not so many out there and I thought to establish myself as a household name for jumpsuits.”
At this point it became her desire to bring back the femininity of fashion especially with jumpsuits. This became her passion to design a new type of jumpsuit made from high end fabric straight from France. At first, she created custom designs on a smaller scale until she linked up with art director Lassana Samassa who would be helpful in reproducing the products. Moving on this mission she opened her first boutique in Derby not far from her home in Shelton, CT. At her boutique she offers high-end haute couture and prêt-à-porter jumpsuits. Whether you are looking for ready-to-wear or high-end jumpsuits she has them both for all types of women. The ready –to-wear suits can run from $200 to $1800 and the high end from $2000 to $10,000 +. Her brand is called LIKOBA and Agathe is on a mission to take it to a different level. Let’s not forget she also has items for men like men’s luxury silk ties and everyday ties along with pocket squares which she launched in 2019.
One of her favorite designs was the one called “Mademoiselle”yet she also is proud of one she designed for actress / singer Rihanna. Another celebrity she is currently working with is “Days of Our Lives” actress Kimberly Oren who she met at the recent Oscars in LA. In addition, she has included another client Radha Mitchell (“Olympus Has Fallen”) and is designing the first male jumpsuit (3 different styles) for Cuban-American actor Jason Caceres. Agathe’s first fashion show was at the Atlantic City Fashion Week in 2016. She also won an award there for Designer of the Year. In 2018 she presented her La Parisienne Rouge Noir Collection which afforded her another award at the Atlantic City Fashion Week for Top Couture Designer in 2019. She also presented the La Renaissance Haute Couture jumpsuits Collection at the Atlantic City Fashion Week in 2019 and became Atlantic City Fashion Week signature designer. Two of her favorite collections are the La Parisienne Rouge Noir and the La Renaissance Haute Couture.
She also presented at the 2016 Soho Fashion Week in New York where the attention she received was overwhelming. There is where she solidified clients from the Hamptons for her high-end designs. All her jumpsuits have a Likoba® logo, swan silhouette adorned in 24 karat gold. It is a very unique and stylish touch. Outside of her amazing designs she also launched a cosmetic line in 2016 where her skin care is the most popular and not only for women but men as well. Her anti-aging cream is one of the most sought-after products. All her cosmetics are made of organic ingredients no alcohol is used. Another point to make with the cosmetics is that they are not heavy and light with no odor and the packaging is along the line of Channel with luxurious packaging.
For 2020 Agathe is looking to branch out and grow her brand. At the moment she is looking to open another boutique in Beverly Hills to service her West Coast clientele. She also wants to find a way to reproduce her designs in CT and cut down the time she needs to travel to France to work with her producer, Lassana. He works on the mass production of the designs and will be taking on a bigger role in Beverly Hills which Agathe will announce at the Montage Hotel. The jumpsuits are created in France and are brought here. Agathe hopes she can hire a team to work on them here as well. Besides all the fashion work she also gives back to the community by scheduling guest speaking engagements at high schools about the nuts and bolts of running a business and what it takes to accomplish just that in addition to being Junior Achievement Volunteer. She has created a whole new fashion statement and looks to make it a common item among the women of today.
Photographer – Karl M Lee