Every Designer’s Dream: Becoming a Pradagee

Astér Thomas

Pradagee Logo

When you move to New York City, you face the inevitable high costs of living. With that, you get to inhale polluted air on your way to work, sit on cramped subways on the way home, and fall asleep to noisy street lullabies at night. As you walk through the city, though, there’s something you will always notice: you are always attending a fashion show.

The Inspiration Behind Pradagee

As fashion enthusiasts, Behtel and I found ourselves enamored with the city’s knack for breeding creativity and inspiration. For us, New York City was the perfect place for a new opportunity and so was born Pradagee. The name was a fusion of the word protégée and, of course, the legendary house of Prada. Designer protégées are exactly what we intend to find.

Currently, the blog features our favorite fashion finds of the day or week, often featuring a trending designer or style we so happen to be excited about. This will not, however, be the entire fate of the website. Behtel and I want to offer something different, something useful.

The concept behind Pradagee is to serve as an online platform for up and coming designers who have yet to develop their own voice. With the plethora of fashion students and artists who occupy the city, we are on the hunt for designers with potential, vision, and passion.

As I state on the “About Us” page of Pradagee, “There’s something magical about witnessing a dream become a reality.” With the exception of relatively recent television shows, we’re often not exposed to the behind-the-scenes action of a designer. With Pradagee, readers will get an exclusive look at the different stages a new designer undergoes in making a name for themselves. We hope to get our readers to fall in love with each Pradagee that we feature – to grow infatuated with the process of design and creation. It’s an experiment, really.

I noticed that this is a really interesting time to try something like this. With social media all atwitter, the fashion student is closer than ever to their idol. The space between the elite expert and the sewing student – once an impossible distance – has shrunken significantly to an intangible space of one hundred and forty characters. This is what has fueled the competitive edge in the aspirer – knowing that with the right formula, you could quickly find your way to stardom. That’s the experimental part. That’s where we come in.

The Founders of Pradagee

Behtel, originally from Ottawa, Canada, found her way into New York on the Public Relations platform. Summing up her experience, she’s learned to maximize the use of social media, pitching, branding strategy and target audience development. Only having been here a year, she’s already cultivated a trained eye for opportunity and uses it frequently.

Pradagee Co-Founder Behtel Dawit

Pradagee Co-Founder Behtel Dawit

Coming to New York straight from Northern Virginia just four months ago, I’ve pulled from within an eagerness for marketing and a strong desire to conceive ingenuity. Studying media throughout school and interning with production departments, I grew fascinated with visionary works. Living in New York, furthermore, has only pushed me into foreign avenues where I intend on thriving in. The combination of our experiences and qualities has lead to the creation of this website.

How Pradagee Was Born

One Friday afternoon as the sun set, we were catching up over a plate of sweet potato fries and a glass of Sauvignon Blanc. (If you ask anyone who knows us, we were foodies pre-New York and I’m pretty sure, at this point, eating has become part of our jobs.). Something clicked in the air and in under 30 minutes we had a full-on plan written out and were beginning to brainstorm site names. Within three days, we were creating the site and by the next week had come up with our logo. It was evident that while our personal endeavors were of a multitude, our singular goal of promoting authentic designers was solid and we were pursuing it steadily. We were in business.

It’s now been three months since the launch of our site and we’ve learned a lot. Besides the obvious discoveries of website development, we’ve learned how quickly things move in cyberspace. We’ve also proven to ourselves that honest work breeds genuine responses. Pradagee has been a unique experience and we’re thankful for the bit of exhilaration it has brought into our every day. The fashion industry is a fast-paced one and working alongside that will be challenging, but we like that.

In the words of the prodigious Coco Chanel, “Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.” At Pradagee, we recognize that and we implement this perspective in our every approach. There are no limits, no boundaries. That is our inspiration.

Pradagee Co-Founder Aster Thomas

Pradagee Co-Founder Astér Thomas

–  Astér

Co-founder of

Interested in becoming a Pradagee, contact me at