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Clothing With a Message

College friends launch a design business that makes fashion inspirational.

This story appears in the November 2002 issue of Entrepreneurs Start-Ups magazine.

Countless designers worldwide sell clothing for men, women and children, filling the media and pop culture worlds with their trademarks and frills. For any fashion design company, particularly a fledging one, standing out from the crowd requires a gimmick, and it better be a good one.

How about stripping the conceit, decadence and self-promotion out of fashion? How about designing clothes that make a statement, that stand for a cause? That's the mission of Charizmatik, a 6-year-old Los Angeles clothing company that features inspirational messages on the drop tags attached to its line of dress shirts, T-shirts, jackets, blazers and sweatshirts. Inspired by movies, Eastern philosophy and more, the uplifting messages are also hidden inside each article of clothing, often surprising wearers when they first do the laundry.

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