A new fashion company, Agapito Co. has sprung up in Oregon Hill and is bringing a bright and furry flare to Richmond runways.
Co-owners Maya Agapito and Michaela Bradley started the company last August and didn’t waste any time launching their brand, High Maintenance. The company started out selling chic square-shaped purses and they’ve quickly expanded to jackets, skirts, crop-tops, and dresses.
“We go with trends, but we’ll do our take on it or our twist on it and make it our own and make everything unique and individual,” Agapito said of her brand.
Agapito is the lead designer of High Maintenance and utilizes bright colors and unique fabrics to personalize the look of their brand. One of the more popular pieces from the brand’s debut line is the rosette dress, it is an eye-catching dress made of pink rosette fur. Another popular outfit from the brand is the cavalier bralette and skirt. The red embroidered sateen in these pieces creates a sexy and memorable ensemble. Agapito uses a lot of faux fur in her designs as well, the brand offers four faux fur jackets and two different faux fur skirts and crop tops.
“We don’t really have a main inspiration, we just go to Joann’s or look online and buy what we like,” said Agapito.
High Maintenance also offers customization, clients are welcome to request custom sizes and colors depending on individual preference. This allows Agapito and Bradley to showcase their style as well as their customers’ individuality.
The up and coming designers are juniors at Virginia Commonwealth University and despite juggling college classes and working, both wanted to tap into their entrepreneurial side out of a love for fashion.
“Going to school and working aren’t even obstacles that I think of,” Bradley said. “You should do what you’re passionate about and you shouldn’t let anything stop you.”
Bradley heads up the financial and business side of Agapito Co. and occasionally models the clothes. Both of the women have invested in the company and are working hard to ensure its success.
High Maintenance’s runway debut was in October at Art Meets Fashion. The event was put on by Real Talk with Monica and featured 10 different designers. At that event, Agapito and Bradley met local designer Shavonne Brown who took an interest in their work and invited them to be a part of her show in New York Fashion Week.
“We were really grateful that Shavonne invited us to be a part of her New York fashion week show,” said Agapito. “We never imagined that our brand would be in New York less than a year after it was created.”
Even though the women decided to walk in a different show at fashion week, they still appreciate the local support. High Maintenance will be featured in Brown’s upcoming fashion show, Icy Romance this Saturday at Dogtown Dance Theater.
In five months, Agapito and Bradley have established their business and are getting noticed. The two entrepreneurs have big plans for the future of High Maintenance and Agapito Co. and plan on one day being a household name.
“The future for us is when you don’t even have to ask me that question because you already know who we are and what we are doing,” said Bradley. “We are going to be a brand that everyone knows.”