Despina Kotsis, of MINX NYC, is making waves in the fashion world, designing her own New York, “Greek-centric”- inspired streetwear brand. The Greek Reporter caught up with this blossoming star in New York, where she is working on her 2019 collection which will launch soon.
Every teenager has dreams of making it big in something. But so few make their dreams come true while they are still a teenager! Kotsis, at nineteen, is a take-charge young woman who has dared to dream big, and make her creativity work for her.
She has acted on her dreams and made them reality. And her growing success is proof of her talent. When asked by the Greek Reporter what inspired her to start up her very own fashion label and why she choose to design streetwear, Kotsis explained, “Ever since I was little I always loved fashion and dreamed of being a designer.
“I actually used to sketch my own clothes when I was younger. In the summer of 2017, I remember that I couldn’t believe that I was going to college soon and how quickly life is already going by”, she recalls.
“I thought to myself that I had enough time of dreaming big, and that I needed to actually start chasing my dreams because life really is short,” the young designer says.
Kotsis’ talent isn’t only in designing. She also has a keen eye for observing trends and adapting her skills to promote her brand. “I decided to start a streetwear line because I saw how popular streetwear was becoming in this generation, and I thought it would be really unique if I could create my own line,” she told the Greek Reporter.
One would expect that stepping into the world as a fashion designer would be daunting at best. But what about stepping into that world as one of the youngest designers out there? Kotsis is only nineteen, and she is going at this venture solo.
“I run this whole company myself and I am a designer, marketer, PR, director, editor, photographer, etc. I know this may seem like a lot for an nineteen-year-old, and I am not going to lie — it is. But this is my passion and my dream and I will work hard until it becomes a success!” she declares.
It looks as though her hard work has already begun paying off. The “Minx NYC” brand has caught the attention of everyday people as well as celebrities worldwide. “I have gotten a huge amount of support from the amazing Greek community,” Kotsis explained, adding, “Nia Vardalos has re-posted a hoodie of mine on her Instagram which she ordered! She has been a huge supporter of mine and even tweeted about my line.”
“Constantine Maroulis and Konnie Metaxa have also posted videos explaining how much they love my line. NBA player Giannis Antetokounmpo’s brothers Alex and Francis both follow my Instagram, along with actor Jake T. Austin, who are all fans of my line @MINXNEWYORK on Instagram,” the young designer added proudly.
Who wouldn’t want to set some new trends wearing Minx NYC? It’s all about transforming the world of hoodies, tees, tanks, and caps, with the sleek graphics and colorful designs that Kotsis first draws sketches of and then transposes onto pre-sewn clothing.
Her inspiration? A touch of New York and, of course, a touch of Greece. She even features her own a spin on the Greek “mati”, or the “evil eye,” which is thought to ward off evil.
“Influences that effect the creation of my designs are all inspired from the beautiful city that I live in, New York. New York City is a melting pot, full of different people, cultures, and diversity,” Kotsis explains.
“I use this to inspire me to create new designs because there is just so much I can use from it, the possibilities are endless!” she told the Greek Reporter.
So how does being Greek fit into the mix? The young designer explained, “My most popular design “DOPE,” which is the “eye”, was indeed related to the Greek mati. I wanted to do a design that was inspired from my culture, and in Greek culture the mati is a huge deal!
“I thought what better way than incorporating this Greek-inspired design by putting a little New York City flair into it! I decided to recreate the eye by putting more colors into it to make it look even more unique than the original,” she says.
“I also recreated the lashes, and decided to create the NYC skyline out of them! And thus, the birth of the “DOPE EYE,” she concluded.
MINX NYC’s 2019 collection promises to be just as inspired. As Kotsis told the Greek Reporter, “I am very excited about my upcoming launch for the 2019 collection. I wanted to also incorporate an old design from my collection that I really enjoyed creating by putting a spin on it and creating it into a hoodie.”
“These 2019 designs are even more unique than the first collection. I really believe that being unique in fashion is something really important… especially in streetwear.
“I try to stay away from the “basic box” logos and text that most streetwear lines use, and instead focus on my art. It gets boring after you see the same thing over and over again. You need to change the game!” she declares.
You know you’re on your way when your logos end up as colorful graffiti on a wall in Lagonisi, Greece. “I think it is so cool! It is a wall that kids spraypainted in Greece with my clothing lines’ name, but I have never been to Greece!” the young designer told the Greek Reporter.
So what about bringing MINX NEW YORK to Greece? When asked, the teen designer told the Greek Reporter, “I am going for the first time in March. Since this is my first trip to Greece, I honestly want to connect with my roots and my culture. I am sure I will also find new inspiration from my visit, but I also want to find who I am as a second-generation Greek American. I also hope to bring some of MINX NEW YORK to Greece!”
Since the young creator is already making her dreams come true, it shouldn’t be surprising that when it comes to the future of MINX NYC, she is dreaming even bigger. “What I hope is, to open my first store in NYC. I would love to take this brand global, and slowly over time see stores of this line open all around the world,” she told the Greek Reporter.
“Imagine opening a store in Greece, how awesome would that be?” she said, adding, “I want other people to be inspired by my story so that they can chase their dreams as well. People need to believe in themselves and realize that we live in a world full of endless opportunities and that anything is possible! I hope to become the youngest fashion designer in the world.”