Not-So-Sexy with Koku Awuye of Atelier New Regime
12 years since its inception, we get intimate with the creative director of the Montreal-based brand on balance and the benefits of change.

Not-So-Sexy is an on-going series on Miilkiina.com profiling creatives around the world and their real, raw, and “not-so-sexy” work-from-home experiences. 

This week we got intimate with Koku Awuye, co-founder and creative director of Montreal-based ready to wear brand Atelier New RegimeThreaded together by a punchy shade of orange, the bold label is celebrating its 12 years anniversary this year, a big milestone for an independent business that has been paving its path to success on its own, fueled by the passion and hard work of three friends who initially started by selling t-shirts out of the back of their car trunk. Provocative and unparalleled in its visual presentation, Atelier New Regime is the kind of product you refer to when you are looking to break some rules. We are chatting about the nitty gritty of business below. 

What does your studio look like?

Sometimes a spaceship, sometimes a classroom.

What is the story behind Atelier New Regime?

The story behind Atelier New Regime is based on our lives and experiences. Fueled by the music we listen to, the books we read or the people we hang out with. 

Why this name?

Simply put, Atelier New Regime sounded better than Classic Regime! 

Why is the color orange so prevalent? 

Orange is the right balance of warmth and excitement. It’s meant to shine bright. 

Describe your brand in one word?  

New Regime. 

Do you have a daily routine, if so walk us through it. 

The only constants in my routine are the daily motivational conversations I have with myself on the drive to and from the HQ; plotting my day, week, month, etc.

Everything in between is up for discussion each morning.  

What has changed for Atelier New Regime over the past year?

The brand’s squeaky wheels have been replaced. The engine has been tuned up. The fuel efficiency and emission tweaked. Topped that with a fresh paint job and new leather upholstery. 

What is still missing from fashion?

Genuine relationships. 

If Atelier New Regime was a food, what would it be? 

Anything extra spicy! 

Why is it important to use fashion as a political statement? 

We’re known for saying stuff like “fuck you pay me”, “the block is hot”, “can I live?”, “guilty of innocence.” The messaging always reflects our state of mind and environment at specific points in time.  

One thing that has brought you peace of mind amidst the current crisis?

Learning how to cancel out the outside noise and focusing on myself. Sorting out what I’m willing to accept to consume my energy, and choosing my battles accordingly. Reconnecting with the younger me and knowing he’s proud of the growth. 

How do you like to unwind and pass time?

My monthly reset is a mani-pedi combo at Jenny’s. I also started working on what I call “mechanical artwork,” a Classic car build. It’s a puzzle but it’s a fun and rewarding process. I’ve been reading more… Trying to catch up on all the knowledge I’ve been missing out on. I came to find out the mightiest books are pocket size. 

Favorite day or memory?

Not everybody gets a tomorrow, and every day spent doing your own thing is a blessing. Also, Rihanna and Weezy wore my sh*t! 

Not-So-Sexy with Koku Awuye of Atelier New Regime
12 years since its inception, we get intimate with the creative director of the Montreal-based brand on balance and the benefits of change.

Not-So-Sexy is an on-going series on Miilkiina.com profiling creatives around the world and their real, raw, and “not-so-sexy” work-from-home experiences. 

This week we got intimate with Koku Awuye, co-founder and creative director of Montreal-based ready to wear brand Atelier New RegimeThreaded together by a punchy shade of orange, the bold label is celebrating its 12 years anniversary this year, a big milestone for an independent business that has been paving its path to success on its own, fueled by the passion and hard work of three friends who initially started by selling t-shirts out of the back of their car trunk. Provocative and unparalleled in its visual presentation, Atelier New Regime is the kind of product you refer to when you are looking to break some rules. We are chatting about the nitty gritty of business below. 

What does your studio look like?

Sometimes a spaceship, sometimes a classroom.

What is the story behind Atelier New Regime?

The story behind Atelier New Regime is based on our lives and experiences. Fueled by the music we listen to, the books we read or the people we hang out with. 

Why this name?

Simply put, Atelier New Regime sounded better than Classic Regime! 

Why is the color orange so prevalent? 

Orange is the right balance of warmth and excitement. It’s meant to shine bright. 

Describe your brand in one word?  

New Regime. 

Do you have a daily routine, if so walk us through it. 

The only constants in my routine are the daily motivational conversations I have with myself on the drive to and from the HQ; plotting my day, week, month, etc.

Everything in between is up for discussion each morning.  

What has changed for Atelier New Regime over the past year?

The brand’s squeaky wheels have been replaced. The engine has been tuned up. The fuel efficiency and emission tweaked. Topped that with a fresh paint job and new leather upholstery. 

What is still missing from fashion?

Genuine relationships. 

If Atelier New Regime was a food, what would it be? 

Anything extra spicy! 

Why is it important to use fashion as a political statement? 

We’re known for saying stuff like “fuck you pay me”, “the block is hot”, “can I live?”, “guilty of innocence.” The messaging always reflects our state of mind and environment at specific points in time.  

One thing that has brought you peace of mind amidst the current crisis?

Learning how to cancel out the outside noise and focusing on myself. Sorting out what I’m willing to accept to consume my energy, and choosing my battles accordingly. Reconnecting with the younger me and knowing he’s proud of the growth. 

How do you like to unwind and pass time?

My monthly reset is a mani-pedi combo at Jenny’s. I also started working on what I call “mechanical artwork,” a Classic car build. It’s a puzzle but it’s a fun and rewarding process. I’ve been reading more… Trying to catch up on all the knowledge I’ve been missing out on. I came to find out the mightiest books are pocket size. 

Favorite day or memory?

Not everybody gets a tomorrow, and every day spent doing your own thing is a blessing. Also, Rihanna and Weezy wore my sh*t! 

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