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This Online Store Makes Casual Couture While Supporting Marginalized People

Kyna Sy's brand is built with good intentions and stylish clothes.
This Online Store Makes Casual Couture While Supporting Marginalized People
IMAGE Courtesy of Amen
Kyna Sy's brand is built with good intentions and stylish clothes.

Kyna Sy believes in the power of saying yes. Yes to love, yes to happiness, yes to fashion, and yes to helping other people. Hence, she's built a brand dedicated to make you say amen to all of these. Àmen is an online store that makes one-of-a-kind pieces that delivers goodness to other people, too. 

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Kyna's mission with Àmen starts with her staff. "We believe in ethical fashion and slow trade; our staff members are family and we won’t compromise their well-being for profit," she says. What's more, for every piece sold, a percentage of the proceeds will go to marginalized individuals like farmers, street vendors, and orphans who need financial help. "The money will go directly to them and will not go through a third party," Kyna clarifies, adding that she often reaches out to individuals she has met in their personal community immersions. "One of our beneficiaries now is a masseuse who’s a widow [and] has eight children," Kyna says.

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Àmen thrives with the intention of dressing women in stylish, wearable couture clothes while helping out the less privileged. Below, we talk to Kyna more about her new brand.

What is the concept behind Àmen? Where did the name come from?

"The main 'why' of the brand is to make a difference, because: 1) we want to make unique, never before seen pieces and experiences; and 2) we strive to make a difference in the lives of our customers, employees, beneficiaries, and other people who don’t necessarily buy but encounter the brand.

"We plan to do that by helping our customers see themselves through God’s eyes—beautiful, powerful, and most of all, loved. And in turn, we will be giving a percentage of our profit from every piece sold to marginalized individuals we’ve personally spoken to and empathized with. 

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"I chose to name the brand Àmen because amen inherently means yes, and yes is something of positive definition—love is yes, peace is yes, joy is yes, struggle, and pain are also yes, depending on how we respond to it. And as we all know, amen is an exclamation often uttered at the end of a prayer. A prayer is powerful, because it’s a bridge to a deeper, more intimate relationship with God; and with that relationship follows all the intangibly beautiful, all the yeses, all the amens. Amen is a game changer; it made all the difference in my life, and I want Àmen to make a difference in the lives of others as well."

Who designs your pieces? Please describe your overall aesthetic.

"I design Àmen’s pieces myself. I think the aesthetic is very couture, very intricate, but also fit for casual wear—something one would wear to a party. "

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What kind of materials do you use in producing your items? Where and how do you manufacture the piees?

"We always use quality fabric; that’s an assurance. We also do the manufacturing ourselves. Our resident patternmakers and sewers manufacture the pieces. We believe in slow trade, so we don’t rush our staff members. They believe in Àmen’s vision, which is why they’re all motivated to build the brand; there is no need to rush them."

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What made you decide to pursue these materials and production route?

"It goes back to our mission. Everyone deserves to be treated with love, so one of the ways to show that is by providing quality material to our customers; not ripping them off. As for the back-end, our staff members are like family to us; we treat each other with respect and love, which is why decided on slow trade instead of fast fashion."

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How did you start your business?

"On paper, it’s just me who built the brand. But I wouldn't have done it without help. My brother-in-law, Dakota Lin, has helped with production and quality control. Manang Lolly and Kuya Rey both believed in the mission of the brand and helped me for little cost since she’s only just starting. Lauren Espino, one of my best friends, worked on the website. Photographer, Sean Xie, lensed the first lookbook that featured her friends as the models."

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Who do you have in mind wearing your pieces? Describe the ideal Àmen muse.

"Everyone is the ideal Àmen muse! We want to see everyone and anyone wearing the pieces. But we’d love to see Heart Evangelista wearing Àmen! LOL!"

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What are your brand's greatest strengths? What sets you apart from other stores?

"People say the genuineness and sincerity behind the brand’s mission is what sets it apart! We’d also like to classify ourselves as casual couture."

Where do you see your brand in the coming years? What should we expect from Amen in the future?

"People say the genuineness and sincerity behind the brand’s mission is what sets it apart! We’d also like to classify ourselves as casual couture."

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What are your price points?

"The price ranges from P2200 to P4400. The first collection only has nine designs, with less than seven pieces for each. But we will be releasing super limited edition pieces in the coming weeks, so that will have a different price range of its own because our pieces are all one-of-a-kind."

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