Dope Couture is a high end street wear brand based out of Los Angeles, California. Also known as “DOPE” for short, they offer everything from raw denim to vintage Chanel accessories. Some of today’s biggest artists including Big Sean, Wiz Khalifa, Mac Miller, Kendrick Lamar, and many more have been seen decked out in the brand. They are guaranteed to have something for everyone. I have had the pleasure to link up with Belarmino Frogozo (@beiarmino – AKA “BJ”) who is straight from the DOPE team and he is here to give us the inside scoop on all things DOPE.
BJ, Can you share with our readers what your job as a marketing director for Dope Couture consists of?
It really consists of finding new opportunities for the brand and capitalizing on them whether it be product placement, in-stores, music sponsorships, or just maintaining social properties. Basically trying to engage the fans of DOPE and move the needle.
Wow. I know you work with Interscope Records too, it really sounds like you have your hands full. How did you become affiliated with the brand anyways?
I was with a friend working on some DJ shit and he was wearing the brand so I asked him where he got the shirt from. To my surprise the guy that was making the shirts (aka Matte, The owner of DOPE) went to Indiana University with me. My homie introduced us and we realized we had a lot in common in terms of lifestyle and fashion. I hadn’t really met anyone into that was into the stuff I was interested in such as Supreme, Bape, J Dilla & sneaker culture. At the time Matte was running the business out of the attic of his frat live-out house. A month later he had an office to create out of and that’s how it started.
When did Dope Couture originate and what were some of the main influences behind the brand’s creation?
I believe Dope started sometime in 2007, it’s been a little hazy since Haha. I would have to say tastemakers Ibn, Cudi, Pharrell, Jay-Z, Birkin Bags, Hermes Scarves, Clicquo, Dom P, Wagu Beef. Just real fly shit, anything and everything to do with high-end living and trying to build a lifestyle around it.
In the fashion world, one day it is in, the next day it is out. What keeps Dope Couture in and your customers coming back?
What keeps our customers coming back is just continually putting out product that embodies the “Dope” lifestyle. We know that our fans of the brand have dreams and aspirations of owning multimillion dollars flats in New York, BMW i8’s, and big face Rollies. It is all about bringing that “DOPE” lifestyle to the masses.
Dope Couture’s motto is “No Dope, No Hope” can you explain what this represents?
I feel like it’s up to interpretation, we can’t give away all the secrets haha.
“You know dope money is slow money but it’s sho’ money……”
Speaking of secrets, what are a few things we should be on the lookout for from Dope Couture in the near future?
Lookout for more collabs with artists, the boutique expanding, more in-store events, along with stronger and more inspired product.
That sounds like a growing list of anticipation. While we are on the subject, DOPE has been known to host some of today’s most sought out hip-hop artist such as Big Sean, Kendrick Lamar, Rockie Fresh, along with others but most recently Freddie Gibbs; How were you able to build these relationships?
I really started building these relationships via twitter. I would hit up the artists managers on twitter or I’d do a blog post on the particular artist and their manger would hit me for product. Another good avenue was having the original boutique in a college town (Bloomington,IN) Always having rappers roll through (i.e. Big Sean, Big K.R.I.T., Mac Miller, Big Boi) Bloomington was key, they would stop by the store get laced with gear and typically wear it that night for the show.
Can you describe this experience to those of us who are not close enough to visit a physical store?
Here are some videos of our previous in-store events. This will tell it best.
Dope Couture Fall/Winter Featuring Mac Miller. #MostDope. Camera and Editing by Harvey Lemmings.
I have heard that you can tell a lot about a person by the items they carry with them, what are your daily essentials?
Macbook Pro, Beats by Dre, iPhone, Bape Sunglasses, USB Drive, Wallet, Car Keys, Kermit The Frog Pezz Dispener, Harbio Gummy Bears, Raw Rolling Tips
I have to ask, does the Frog Pezz dispenser have any ties to your last name, Frogozo?
Haha yeah it does, ever since I was little people have called me Froggy, Frogz or would use expressions like “Don’t get too Froggy”
BJ, thank you for joining us at JENESIS. We all admire the DOPE movement, keep it coming!
Dope Couture’s combination of fashion, street wear and a taste for all things luxurious has driven this brand and allowed it to attract the average customer as well as some of the hip-hop industries heaviest hitters.The brand has proven it has the ability to provide a unique and customized look for everyone. Through designing limited edition items DOPE has maintained its ability to keep each product sold just as unique and rare as the day it was purchased.
Here are a few of my personal favorites from the online store http://shop.dopecouture.com/
-Mel B (@melissablythe5)