LIM Alums Launch Functional Fashion PPE Brand
August 3, 2020
By Kally Compton (Class of 2023)
LIM College alumni Baylen Edwards-Miller (’19) and Anthony Nota (’19) recently launched a brand called IHKWIP, creating products that serve as personal protection equipment (PPE) while also being fashionable.
It’s not only functional fashion—it’s ideal for consumers looking for protective wear during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
IHKWIP was founded on the knowledge and skill Anthony and Baylen gained from their LIM courses and internships, as well as their natural entrepreneurial spirit.
Their LIM Journey
Anthony and Baylen graduated in 2019, Baylen with a BBA in Fashion Merchandising and Anthony with a BBA in Marketing. Their time at LIM allowed them to develop their partnership and the skills they needed to start their business.
The pair met freshman year and remained friends throughout their time at LIM, brainstorming ideas and making meaningful connections with faculty.
Anthony says, “The highlights of my LIM College experience are the life-long friendships I made and the internships I was able to secure. I was fortunate to intern at brands such as Tommy Hilfiger, Versace, and Louis Vuitton, which truly prepared me to start my career in the industry.”
Says Baylen, “My time at LIM will forever be with me as some of the best years of my life. I pushed myself academically, personally, and professionally (and also had a lot of fun)—and I could not be happier with the result. I met amazing people and launched a career in the fashion industry, after having internship experiences at Joan Rivers Worldwide, John Varvatos, Tommy Hilfiger, Saint Laurent, and Calvin Klein.”
Fashion Merchandising Chair Nancy Miller notes, “Anthony and Baylen were both outstanding students and were shining stars in class, always contributing to the conversation and just so well-read and passionate about the fashion business. They went the extra step in all of their projects. Together, they have the knowledge, drive, and entrepreneurial skills to succeed.”
The IHKWIP Brand
As for the development of IHKWIP, Baylen says, “We took the opportunity of being furloughed from our jobs [due to COVID-19] to pursue our endeavor based on a real need.”
Being furloughed gave the pair the time to develop their product and marketing strategies.
Anthony says, “We started IHKWIP with a simple idea and a very lean budget and were in awe of how well our product was received.”
“Baylen and I joke by saying we are currently ‘all departments’ of our company—shout out to the varied courses we took while at LIM.”
Their first product to launch was the IHKWIP PPE Carrier, a personal protective equipment carrying case and touchless tool designed to conveniently hold a mask, gloves, hand sanitizer, and other essentials.
According to Anthony, “The PPE Carrier is a compact bag that was thoughtfully designed with fashion insiders and medical professionals to incorporate PPE into daily life. We took the stress out of safety by merging fashion and function and created a solution to a common problem during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond—staying prepared and organized with PPE.”
Launching a new business during a pandemic is challenging, to say the least. However, with Anthony’s skills in marketing and Baylen’s product development knowledge, they were able to build the brand and have a successful soft launch.
“We relied heavily at first on the grassroots movement of friends, family, and colleagues sharing our story,” says Baylen. “It contributed to a successful soft launch of the brand, which grew—and is growing—organically. We created our fully shoppable website and photographed, edited, wrote, and curated everything you see on it from scratch.”
Anthony and Baylen see a bright future for IHKWIP, planning to expand the business into a full line of functional accessories. They are eager to begin adding to their product assortment and feel confident in the company’s future.
For more information on IHKWIP’s products visit: https://www.ihkwip.com/