The Zen Studio NYC

Self proclaimed “Sustainable Trapper” Ani is advocating and educating through fashion and design. Curating the Zen Studio NYC, a sustainable fashion project relaunched in May of 2021, Ani’s goal is to mesh her love for activism and fashion!

Recently, our CEO Tonae’ Lee, was able to sit down and be interviewed for the new Zen Studio Podcast, a platform to spotlight those who are making a difference in the sustainable fashion industry. Talking about creating sustainable brands and why it’s important to reduce our eco footprints. You can listen to the podcast on these platforms: Spotify | Apple | Google

After our podcast interview, we were interested in learning more about the Zen Studio Brand so we sat down with Ani and just asked her a few questions:

Why sustainability, and what does sustainability mean to you?

Ani: Fashion has always been my passion. The more I educated myself on the industry and the global landscape I knew I wanted to make changes. It’s a lifestyle that I’ve grown into and I’m loving every minute of the journey.

How did you enter your sustainable journey?

Ani: It started with my love for nature and the preservation of our land. It’s become a part of my everyday life. 

What’s the best thing you’ve learned so far?

Ani: I can’t choose, I’m a spunge. I like to soak up information. One of my favorite lessons has been understanding the concept of releasing my control and allowing things to just be.

Tell us about your current collection.

Ani: I love my current collection. It's an extension of of my debut streetwear collection. It was important for me to work on expressing what I have to say especially in terms of sustainability. I wanted every piece to have a story. I'm excited for my growth as an artist!

What’s your favorite piece you’ve created or sourced?

Ani: One of my favorite pieces is my dream hoodie, I wanted to take control of my own narrative. As an artist people always have these things to say about how hard the journey is or how things could end up not working out. This was my answer to my own doubts at the time.

Let’s play a game! I give you two choices, you choose your favorite!

1) Thrift store or Flea Market? Flea Market

2) Goodwill or Value Village? Goodwill

3) Consignment store or Estate sale? Estate sale (this was hard, haha

What made you want to create a podcast?

Ani: So many people wanted business advice so I said why not make a podcast. I can provide value to other entrepreneurs and try something new at the same time. I’ve thought about a podcast for a minute and I just was like let me start now.

What’s the biggest obstacle you feel you’ve overcome in your business?

Ani: Having the confidence for myself and not needing validation.

What’s next for the Zen Studio?

Ani: I’m working on launching my second brand as we speak. I’ll be launching TZSNYC Fragrance before the New Year so keep an eye out!

What advice do you have for those who want to enter the sustainable fashion world?

Ani: Be ready to work and get loud about sustainability. Even when others are quiet, stay loud.

Loved this interview? Comment and share! You can follow Ani and Zen Studio NYC Brand on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok at @thezenstudionyc.

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