When asked what inspires Agathe Ngo Likoba as an entrepreneur and philanthropist and fuels her passion for the fashion industry, the answer is easy, family and the culture in which she was raised. Cameroonian-born and raised in France, Likoba had an always sophisticated and stylish mother and a grandfather who, as her hero, taught her to never give up on her dreams. Likoba’s mother always had her makeup, hair, and nails done and was always in heels. Agathe remembers she had to learn very early on that women had to take care of themselves, speak well and present well.
This combination of a penchant for fashion and the drive of a businesswoman has led her to great success with her New York-based Likoba. Her impeccable eye for style is steeped heavily in her upbringing with influences from Africa and France and then peppered with seasons she spent in Bruges, Venice, and Switzerland. Likoba’s international influences intertwined to create the worldwide tastes that are evident in her brand. You can look at her designs and envision her winters skiing in Switzerland and evenings out on spring nights in France. Agathe has been in the U.S. for over a decade, spending most of it in New York City. It has been a decade that has brought her incredible success.
Agathe launched her brand publicly in 2016, and through hard work, persistence, and a commitment to deliver the best to her customers, it has become an award-winning brand with increasing popularity among celebrities and fashionistas worldwide, consisting of botanical-based cosmetics, prêt-á-porter, and haute couture jumpsuits, sunglasses, neckties, and scarves. With clients on the red carpet at the Oscars in Beverly Hills to its billboard in Times Square in New York City, Agathe's determination to build bigger and better has elevated Likoba to fantastic heights.
Known for having the prettiest storefront in Derby, CT, her boutique opened in 2018. Her chic boutique is a shrine to the women’s jumpsuit. This is because Likoba is one of the rare couturiers who focuses on jumpsuits as one of the focal pieces of her design collection. This passion for jumpsuits comes from the belief that they are an underrated clothing wonder that not only enhances women's bodies but increases their confidence and femininity. They can be formal, casual, and everything in between.
Since launching in 2016, the awards, accolades, and features just keep coming and with good reason. Likoba was named the winner for Best Couture Designer at Atlantic City Fashion Week in 2016 and 2018. She was named Entrepreneur of the Year in 2017 by the Fairfield County Business Journal and nominated for Entrepreneur of the Year that same year by the SBA of Connecticut. Likoba has been featured in over 25 publications since launching her brand five years ago.
The love for her brand is not her only love. Likoba is firmly entrenched in philanthropy and her belief in supporting youth and women. She believes that investing in our youth is the best way to serve her community. Agathe is an active mentor for prospective entrepreneurs. A Junior Achievement Volunteer for five years, she thrives in the entrepreneur mentorship for young minds who strive to be entrepreneurs. Her experience and charisma led her to an invitation to speak at Bridgeport University on her expertise in Entrepreneurialism.
Agathe has a passion for supporting others, including her fellow women, even celebrating the Likoba boutique’s first anniversary with a fashion show that featured cancer survivors on its runway. The proceeds of the show were donated to the Cancer Center at Griffin Hospital in Derby, Connecticut. She also sponsored a fashion show for a non-profit created by bereaved parents to support their needs in the memory of their babies that had been tragically lost. The role of a philanthropist is near and dear to Likoba’s heart.
In 2016 she was also one of the featured judges at the Miss Cameroon USA Pageant. Her newest project is a reality show called Tutoplay by Business Shower. Likoba will be one of the coaches who mentors young African entrepreneurs so they grow the necessary skills to succeed in their prospective careers. The show is planning to stream on various streaming platforms, including Netflix and HBO. Agathe has no plans of slowing down anytime soon.
She recently expanded her collections during the pandemic, launching a new line of fitness jumpsuits and sunglasses for men. Her latest collection will be a collaboration with iMmOrteL-Paris, where each jumpsuit of Agathe’s will feature a dress version designed by iMmOrteL-Paris’s Lassana Samassa. The exciting new collection will be presented during the 2022 Paris Fashion Week. This winter, she plans to launch a consulting business to coach new entrepreneurs on launching a business while maintaining a healthy family life. The balance between work and life is essential to her, and she understands her power as a woman. It is a powerful message and ideal she strives to convey to her daughter. She is a strong example of balancing being an established member of one’s community while raising her daughter to become a responsible woman.
Agathe has her eyes on the future, building a brand that expands as time changes, including transitioning to a more online presence during the pandemic as brick and mortar stores had to think creatively to keep their businesses afloat. She never let the pandemic slow her down or alter her creative energy. That energy continues to flow as she continues designing for men and women with designs available for both those looking for custom pieces or off-the-rack jumpsuits as well as accessories and cosmetics. A new boutique opening is also on the way! The future for Likoba is bright