Who We Are
(sen-pie and koh-hi)
A Philadelphia based clothing brand that is globally influenced, created for the free spirited woman who approaches dressing as an art.
Senpai+Kohai delivers innovative, timeless clothing to compliment the modern woman, with a focus on textiles, fit, quality and design.
Senpai+Kohai aspires to inform consumers the importance of fair trade and environmentally aware designs through the DNA and craftsmanship of each garment, creating value that is desired for a lifetime.
Senpai + Kohai was a dream shared between the two of us when we met in college in 2003, which we hoped to bring to life one day. After many years spent working in the corporate world as designers, stylists and sales girls, we both decided it was the perfect time as we had reached a milestone in our career life. Melissa was living and designing in India for UO Inc., while Pia was freelancing as a stylist for clothing brands such as Anthropologie, Free People, Urban Outfitters and David's Bridal. We had both collaborated on a few past projects together and had made several first attempts in starting a clothing line but this time it felt right and we were ready! We spent only three months to produce the first Senpai+Kohai collection in time to launch for holiday of 2012 and came out with twelve one-of-a-kind Indian textile inspired pieces, which we individually handcrafted at home.
Our first collection enabled us to apply and get accepted into the Philadelphia Fashion Incubator program. Here we have learned how to formulate a business model to build a successful brand.
Senpai+Kohai is created for women like us, who value dressing as an art form. It is a Japanese term that refers to the balance between the relationship of a mentor and their apprentice. This value is not the sole inspiration we can relate to as colleagues but also something we apply to our work, being inspired from what we have learned from the past and applying it to our modern world.
-Melissa Choi + Pia Panaligan