Contrary to the traditional characteristics of clothes, EFENDEE focuses on individuality and personality. Our motto “LIKE IT, LOVE IT, WEAR IT!” Speaks to our company story: encapsulating an individual’s style for “who they are”— through fashion. As a result, they have revolutionized the concept of UNISEX Fashion by bringing multiple local band national urban brands under one roof. Ultimately, serving as a hub for smaller fashion lines and an equal-opportunity distributor for larger brand names.
Founded in February of 2021 by Haitian-descent Brothers Don Philippe— a 25+ year retired Law Enforcement Officer, & Frank Louis-Jeune— The First [and only] Black-Owned Roofing Consultant in Miami-Dade, EFENDEE is an Urban Luxury brand whose driving force and purpose are to serve as a communal staple, for other local minority-owned and smaller scale brands in fashion.
“Although some of these brands cater to the same consumer base they also fulfill different needs. If Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren can coexist in Macys, there’s no reason Cothiere and Millions can’t coexist in EFENDEE”, said Co-Founder Frank when asked about the importance of collaboration as opposed to competition amongst larger-scale national brands.
Coming from humble beginnings growing up in rural Miami, Frank and Don understood the importance of creating something of their own and subsequently, giving back to their community. Together, they decided it was best to do a joint-business venture to discover new and more impactful ways to build a brand and give back. Thus, EFENDEE was born.
The company’s name itself is representative and inclusive of both Founders names. Brothers FRANK & DON— creatively decided to play on the concept of a phonetical spelling for their first letter initials as their brandname and came up with the oh so original “EFENDEE”. (Not to be confused with Fendi) “EF” is the phonetic way of spelling “F” which stands for Frank; “EN” is the ebonical way of saying the word “and”; then it’s ending: “DEE” is the phonetic way of spelling “D” which stands for Don. All together…you get EFENDEE. (Pronounced “F and D”.)
Their humbled outlooks on socioeconomics and the need for effective community collaboration, make them the ideal collaborative partner, as they are always looking to expand and collaborate with more tenacious local designers, business owners, and brands, to uplift small businesses in the community.
“Our local designers put a lot of care into the material selection and design of their garments and we feel they earned a spot next to brands like Akoo, Hustle Gang, Makobi, and the other national brands we carry”, said Co-Founder Don P.
In efforts of expansion and reaching a wider audience and demographic, Efendee has since partnered with amazing community partners and collaborators to bring new, fresh, and innovative concepts to the store. There most recent partnership launched in October 2021, with a Brand Collaboration with Frankie Red Entertainment- that stemmed from an on-going fostering relationship with Positivity Pays, which is one of Efendee’s clothing partners. Shortly after starting as a brand affiliate and social media content creator, Frankie was promoted to Marketing Director and now serves as the boutique’s New General Manager and Fashion and Art Director.
“My brother and I understood we lacked a woman’s touch with EFENDEE and we understood our shortcomings. This wasn’t a recent thought either. We tried connecting with other people although they were great at what they did, they weren’t a great fit for EFENDEE. It took some time but we’re happy to have connected with Frankie Red,” said Louis-Jeune.
If nothing else, EFENDEE teaches us how the importance of collaborating with individuals of various walks of life, professions, and diverse backgrounds- benefits our business. Think of it as diversifying your stock portfolio. Making our brands wholesome and rise with the collaborative talents and efforts of others.
“It has been great having another creative mind on the team. One of the great things about working with Frankie is that she brings fresh and exciting ideas to the table. Her creativity is completely different from ours so what she brings is admired and appreciated”, said Philippe.
From providing a platform for local designers to sell their merchandise, to expanding opportunities for rising entrepreneurs and creatives to grow with their business, EFENDEE is committed to growing their brand through communal efforts and strategic partnerships. Allowing other brands and affiliates to contribute to their growth both organically and creatively through metrics of cross-promotion and branding.
In efforts of fostering and promoting diversity, inclusion, and a sense of building community, EFENDEE also launched a monthly event called “Across The Aisle''- which brings together the concept of networking, shopping, and fellowshipping all intertwined.
Lookout for our NEXT BLOG POST NEXT WEEK...to find out MORE about Across The Aisle.