Number 1 in Iran
Apollo Braun was born as Doron Braunshtein. His nickname Apollo Braun came in his early twenties from Liron Apirion, one of his closest friends. Apollo Braun came to New York with 13 dollars and one phone number : A girl named Noa, a friend of a friend of his, whom he had never met before in his life. When landing at JFK airport in the summer of 2001, Apollo called Noa from a pay phone, Luckily she was home, and Apollo convinced her to let him stay at her apartment in Queens. Noa agreed to do it 'but only for two days on the sofa in the living room'. When Apollo came to her apartment he understood clearly : for the first time in his life he is in America, where he doesn't know anybody, doesn't have money and above everything else he doesn't have time. He knew that tomorrow morning he would find a new job, any job. After hearing five no's from three restaurants ( he offered them to be a waiter), one shoestore ('I'm better than Al Bundy!', he said), one comedy club (he offered them to clean their floors), he went to eat at a Spanish restaurant in Soho where the sign outside offered a full lunch for only $3.95. Desperate, he ordered his $3.95 lunch, knowing that it was almost his last penny. Inside the restaurant, two women and a man took pictures of themselves, Apollo started to speak with them, so one of the women invited him to their table, first buying his lunch,and then offering him his first job in America as a nude model. The next morning when Apollo came to the art studio at Crosby street in Soho, he took his clothes off and oops... The rest is history. The painters loved him and after a few days, he got another job as a salesperson in the Hip Hop mega-store in Soho, called 'Yellow Rat Bastard'. He made $5.25 per hour, working seven days a week from 10am until 8pm (except for the days he still modeled naked). While he was there he met a girl named Olga, a fashion student in FIT ('Fashion Institute of Technology'). She said to him: 'People that are good with other people, like yourself, will make great clothes'. So, Apollo, who needed every penny (he was then living in Washington Heights with another seven roomates, sharing a tiny room with another two people and paying $300 a month rent), started painting on T-shirts that he bought in Chinatown during his lunch break at 'Yellow Rat Bastard', with puffy paint that he bought at 'Pearl Paint' in Chinatown and yes, those were also bought during his lunch break (Apollo literally did everything to survive by working every day). The T-shirts he wore at the store the customers loved, so Apollo begged the buyer to buy them from him. The buyer at 'Yellow Rat Bastard' agreed to try a dozen on consignment ('You sell- You get paid, you don't sell- take them home'), From then on Apollo became the first salesperson to sell his clothes while working in the store. Since the clothes sold, Apollo pushed them to other shops in downtown Manhattan, like: 'Patricia Fields', 'Metropolis', 'Tees.com', 'Mod World', and more. After five months as a salesperson at 'Yellow Rat Bastard' he still continued to sell his clothes there, Apollo moved one step up, earning $7 per hour by working as a salesperson in the fleamarket at West 4th street and Broadway for a T-shirts company. Apollo worked for that company seven days a week, and after six months of working for them, he got an offer that changed his life: to open his own little booth in the same fleamarket. The offer came from Sam, Apollo's friend, and after thinking, Apollo decided to take the risk and 'Apollo and Sam' came to the world. The booth (11feetx10 feet) was in the back of the fleamarket and Apollo worked there seven days a week, while Sam kept his other job as a full-time tow truck driver, knowing that they each pay $1100 a month rent (yes! $2,200 monthly rent for a tiny booth on the street), not including the high cost of the merchandise, Apollo knew that he must work harder than ever, and he did it! 'Apollo and Sam' were a huge success. This was the first booth that had beautiful synthetic grass carpet, rare metal rocks and wood hangers, a unique mix of one of a kind pieces by different local New York designers and of course, Apollo Braun creations. The booth drew a variety of stylists that pulled off clothes for different photo shoots, and among Apollo's customers were: Britney Spears (wearing Apollo Braun 'f*** you.com' custom made t-shirt),that has been photographed with her wearing it by almost every magazine in the world by paparazzi. Actor Chris Malony ('Oz') taking the same t-shirt, Deborah Gibson and more. Apollo had been interviewed in the booth for 'CNN', 'MTV2' and even for a thesis for a fashion student about wearable art, but at the end of December 2002 Apollo knew that he just couldn't continue. He knew that he deserved a real store, and even more than that: he deserves a partner that works equally as Apollo. Sam, with all the love and respect that Apollo has for him, will never quit his day job, never take the risk and will never give 100% of himself to 'Apollo and Sam'. At the end of December of 2002, 'Apollo and Sam' closed the fleamarket booth. The morning after (Apollo worked in the week of December 21, 2002, until January 1 2003, literally, 18 hours a day, living on coffee, and fixing his new store without telling Sam about it). Apollo opened his 'Apollo Braun' store, located at 193 Orchard street in the lower east side of New York on January 2003. In the meantime Apollo married his best friend, and love of his life (!) Wendy, made his haute-couture line 'Doron Braunshtein', his clothes were bought, taken and worn by Nicole Kidman, Natalie Portman, Britney Spears, Bjork, the hip-hop violinist, Miri Ben-Ari, singer Fantasia Barrino, and much more, his clothes have been featured in endless magazines, but the main thing was and would always be the same: One guy, New York City, 13 dollars, nobody in the world, hardworking, super- ambitious, knowing: the good deserve to succeed!