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Dope Couture: More Than Corn In Indiana

dope couture top Dope Couture:  More Than Corn In Indiana

When thinking of Indiana, your first images may included Bobby Knight’s red sweater and even redder face, maybe it’s long stretches of corn fields followed by…more corn fields, it could that Heckle and Jeckel looking mascot for Indiana Beach, or maybe you just draw blanks…However, my images of Indiana, collected over four years spent at Indiana University, include a beautiful campus, long hours at the library, the country’s largest student union, parties, and pretty girls.  It doesn’t however include streetwear stores (although I was a key holder at Steve & Barry’s), which will most definitely land into the memories for current IU students, thanks to Dope Couture, the Bloomington boutique/brand that is making name for itself in B-town and beyond.  We sent current IU student and RH intern, Sarita Applebaum over to Dope Couture to find out the specifics behind the brand that’s been seen on the backs of artists such as Lupe Fiasco, Naledge, Wale, Mick Boogie and more.  Read on to see why Dope Couture may just be redefining style in the Heartland straight from DC’s Matt Fields.

RubyHornet: What is Dope Couture and where did the name come from?

Dope Couture: First of all, Dope Couture is a clothing brand & boutique. Most people don’t know the original name but it was going to be Dynasty Goods Dope Couture. I liked the word “Goods” as part of the name of a clothing company but “Dynasty Goods” sounded like the second coming of RocaWear or something. So I guess the true O.G. Dope Couture tee is the Dynasty Goods Eazy-E tee. There were only about 40 of those printed in a turquoise/black colorway.  Anyway, I ended up chopping the first half of that name off. I felt as if Dope Couture was perfect in that it was self-describing enough that people would just get it. It’s like fight club. It’s obviously not couture, and if you use the word “dope” then you might like our clothes. It also speaks directly about our designs.

RubyHornet: How would you describe Dope Couture’s style and what are your main influences?

Dope Couture: I would describe Dope Couture’s style as Karl Lagerfeld meets Doughboy. The main influences (targets) are high fashion brands from Goyard to Martin Margela.

RubyHornet: Where are you located?

Dope Couture: We are located in Bloomington, Indiana at 224 N. College Avenue, downtown, on the square.

RubyHornet: What inspired you to open a street wear shop in a rural college town?

matt fields Dope Couture:  More Than Corn In Indiana

Dope Couture: Bloomington is a diversely populated college town with students from all over the world. At the time we opened, Bloomington was lacking a street wear boutique that offered a more similar line of products and clothing that many students are accustomed to buying back home. I wanted to give the students the opportunity to have a boutique to shop at where they could get high-end street wear and other unique products.

RubyHornet: Considering Bloomington, Indiana is no fashion hub, was it hard initially to gain people’s interest or was the market for high-end street wear apparel already there?

Dope Couture: The initial response was great. We had so many students coming in and saying things like, ‘This is just like stores back home, I can’t believe Bloomington has a shop like this now.’ These students were really excited to see brands that they knew from NY, San Fran, L.A. and other more major cities. The market for high-end street wear is still developing in Bloomington. Currently, the market consists of the out-of-state students who bring their knowledge of streetwear to Bloomington. It wasn’t difficult to get those students’ support. They love it and can’t wait to see more of it.

RubyHornet: How does Dope Couture set itself apart from other local clothing boutiques?

Dope Couture: We try and carry exclusive brands that you can’t get at any other store in Bloomington. We also carry limited quantities of product so the uniqueness factor remains high and people don’t feel like they are buying something that everyone else is wearing. Our goal is to be the shop for the fresh kids on campus.

RubyHornet: What are your hottest items right now?

dc la Dope Couture:  More Than Corn In Indiana

Dope Couture: Our line of clothing, G-Shock watches, and Super sunglasses.

RubyHornet: Besides providing cool couture to college kids, what other roles does Dope Couture play on campus?

Dope Couture: Since we opened towards the end of the school year, we haven’t been involved with a lot of campus activities. I would be up for that and when opportunities arise we will get involved. However, I know we will definitely be affiliated with non-sanctioned university events. Beyond a shop & hangout, we will sponsor and throw parties with homies like Phenom, Action Jackson, Fifth Agency, and SkyWalkin Ent. I know we are going to be a part of bringing some well-known artists and DJs to the Dope Boutique and some of the surrounding nightclubs & bars. Rage!

RubyHornet: Since RH is a lifestyle magazine and covers all aspects of culture, tell us about your connection between Dope Couture and music.

Dope Couture: Dope Couture exists today partially due to the support we have received from the Electro & Hip Hop scene. DJ Benzi helped get me into a couple of stores; Lupe helped the brand gain exposure just by wearing shirts. We’ve had collabs with Wale (ADD Tour), DJ Benzi, Motivation Boutique, Mick Boogie x Leaders (Obama- Can I Kick It), Naledge (Chicago Picasso).

RubyHornet: Can you find Dope Couture other places besides Indiana University?

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Dope Couture: The brand itself has been around for 2 years. Since the beginning we’ve worked hard to get accounts with other street wear boutiques around the country. To date, our line has been sold in over 25 boutiques, including a couple abroad.

RubyHornet: What should we except for from Dope Couture in the future? Are there plans to expand to other college campuses?

Dope Couture: We’re only getting bigger, gaining notoriety. The boutique and brand will continue to grow. Nothing will be rushed though. We aren’t going to sprint to the top but we’re getting our jog on.

RubyHornet: For those readers who are not familiar with Dope Couture, what are three things you would want them to know before checking out the store?

Dope Couture: Browsing costs $10.00. Just kidding. But seriously, the people chillin on the couch probably don’t work here. Come say what’s up and talk shop with Mikey, Nick, and BJ. They know their fashion s**t.

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