A rising Vincentian fashion designer in the United States on June 23 launched a new fashion boutique in Brooklyn.
Zulema N. George, the only child of economist/accountant Auton “Frankie” George and registered nurse Edna George, née McDonald, opened AK Couture Boutique and Beauty Bar at 4516 Church Ave., between 45th and 46th Sts., Brooklyn to much fanfare.
“I am excited about the opening of my new boutique,” George, in her 30’s, told Caribbean Life in an exclusive interview. “As long as I can remember, I have always been into fashion.
“I had a way of transforming outfits into artwork with very little effort,” she added. “Being an only child, standing out from the rest came naturally. People always admired my creations, so it only made sense that I did this and continue down this path. And I can honestly say that this is a dream come true for me.
“With my talent, I hope to be able to show and help people to think outside the box when it comes to fashion,” George continued. “I want women and men to stand out in a crowd and be confident when doing so, which is why I work mainly with independent designers and choose clothing that sets a tone as opposed to follow a trend.”
She said the AK Couture client is anyone who “loves fashion, loves to live fearlessly and most of all loves to stand out – on a budget, of course.
“While there are people who love designer clothing, etc., there are some of us who like the designer look without the hefty price tag,” George said.
As a young Vincentian entrepreneur, she said she has “the best of both worlds.”
“I’m able to relate and work with two different communities in regards to my clientele and business relationships,” she said.
“I feel like I speak two languages, and it gives me an upper hand on entrepreneurs that can only market to one community,” George added.
In hosting the grand opening ceremony, George showcased “many wonderful assortment of products,” with music by Vincentian DJ Yung Hova.
She said AK Couture Boutique and Beauty Bar highlights her “keen eye for the unique and trendy,” adding that the boutique’s inventory will consist of “one-of-a kind” pieces from independent designers.
George said the boutique also features a wide range of hygiene and beauty products, such as organic handmade soaps, including her signature body butter “Kisses and Fairy Dust.”
A graduate of the historically Black Howard University in Washington, D.C., with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, George, who also holds a master’s in public health from Long Island University, downtown Brooklyn, said she turned to fashion because of that passion.
“I love the sciences, but I have a passion for fashion,” said George, whose initial interest was becoming a medical doctor.
She said she has been designing handbags for eight years, and opened her first boutique in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn in 2009, but closed it after a year after getting an opportunity to work for a Miami-based handbag company as its head designer.
George, who currently owns an online fashion store, said, as an image consultant, she channeled her creativity and utilized her eye for detail while styling for recording artists, models and actors/actresses.
She said her vision was the centerpiece for several high-end music videos and photo shoots, subsequently deciding to follow her passion to design handbags after growing “increasingly weary of purchasing bags made from inferior materials that wore hefty price tags.
“A handbag is more than an accessory,” George said. “It’s an extension of you.”
The relatively young fashion designer said AK Couture caters to “fashion-forward men and woman of all ages,” and maintains the ‘Zulema N. George trademark’ of great fashion without having to spend a fortune.”
By boasting a reasonable price, as well as showcasing exclusive pieces of jewelry and clothing from designers all over the world, George said AK Couture will be “a primary source for those who want to stand out from all the rest.”
In the coming months, George said she will “continue to raise the bar” by offering her clientele the best in fashion, accessories and beauty, making AK Couture “the stop for ‘anti-clone’ fashion.”