Three students modeling the Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization's (CEO) designs.

You could say that Djamina Drabo (’25) and Renukh Rampaul (’25) know how to roll up their sleeves—in more ways than one. The two enterprising young women, undergraduates in Baruch’s Zicklin School of Business, are co-founders of Homme D’Affaire, the first student-clothing brand from the College’s entrepreneurship club.

Homme D’Affaire sells business-casual sweaters and polos as well as comfy T-shirts and hoodies through its online store, which launched in December 2023. The startup was founded in 2021 by Baruch’s entrepreneurship club, the Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization (CEO), and is the club’s first startup to offer a tangible product line.

In many ways, Homme D’Affaire is the quintessential Baruch brand. Its tagline is “the attire of ambition,” and its highly professional website is impressive. On the landing page, a photo carousel shows Baruch students modeling Homme D’Affaire clothes. The company’s USP, or “unique selling proposition,” is that it is exclusively student run, striving “to empower students at Baruch to learn business through the execution of Homme D’Affaire operations.” Indeed, the stylish startup is run by a team of around 20 Baruch undergraduate and graduate student interns.

“The club decided we wanted to do a clothing brand, and because Baruch is mainly a business school, the idea of business-casual fashions made sense,” says Drabo, CEO’s president. “Coming back from Covid lockdowns, we liked the idea of looking semi-professional in Zoom meetings while still being comfortable.”

Rampaul, who oversees recruitment and other activities, said that Homme D’Affaire has departments of communications, marketing, operations, design development, finance, and business development. When hiring interns, “Even if it’s their first working experience, if they’re willing to learn, we’ll hire them, and they can attain valuable skills,” Rampaul says.

Homme D’Affaire also collaborates with student clubs at Baruch and other CUNY schools to provide custom merchandise, most recently T-shirts for Baruch’s Weissman School of Arts and Sciences’ Study of Latin America club. At the Field Center’s annual Baruch Marketplace event last December, Homme D’Affaire showcased a new quarter-zip sweater line, which quickly sold out.

Surprisingly, neither of Homme D’Affaire’s co-founders planned on a business career. Drabo studied computer science in high school but, after watching Shark Tank, developed a passion for entrepreneurship, which led her to apply to Baruch.

Rampaul’s path was also circuitous. In high school, her passion was animals and she wanted to be a veterinarian or a zoologist. But during Covid lockdowns, her family’s lack of economic stability drove her to teach herself about stocks, taxes, and other financial literacy topics, compelling her to study business at Baruch.

Rampaul and Drabo initially met through the SEEK program, a CUNY program that offers academic and financial assistance to qualifying students. When Drabo told Rampaul that she was thinking of launching a clothing brand, it didn’t take long to convince her to join. You might even say she joined Homme D’Affaire at the drop of a hat.


Leave a Reply