Boris Kodjoe Discusses Daughter's Illness & New Custom Shirt Line
And your daughter Sophie, was born with spina bifida. Tell us more about that illness.
Spina bifida is a birth and spine defect that affects the bowels, bladder and legs. When you have a child with spina bifida it’s about 13 times more expensive. The spectrum is really wide some children are in wheelchairs, others are in leg braces or use canes or walkers. It effects mobility. So the manangement of a child with spina bifida is quite intense and it effects the family in a very deep way— it can be traumatic.
But like so many other celeb parents with children who have special needs or illnesses—like Holly Robinson Peete’s work with autism and Shante Broadus work with Lupus—you've started a foundation to empower the parents and children coping with it.
Yes. Nicole and I established Sophie’s Voice Foundation and it's a network for those affected by the birth defect all over the world. It’s very fulfilling and helps us get over our despair and pain by reaching out to others.
The crazy thing is that spina bifida is 70% preventable. And 60 million women are at risk of having a baby born with it but the key to having a baby not born with spina bifida is folic acid. That’s what we do at Sophie’s Voice Foundation, we raise awareness to let all women of childbearing age how important it is to get their vitamin B and folic acid before conception. Since fifty percent of all pregnancies are unplanned, it’s important that you get your folic acid all the time because it protects you, keeps you healthy and beautiful. We also do family outreach programs to help families deal with living with it.
And along with acting and your foundation work, you also have a custom shirt clothing line?
The WorldofAlfa.com is a clothing company I started with my brother Patrick. It came out of me never finding any shirts that fit. So on our website you can design your own custom made shirt from scratch. We have over one hundred and fifty fabrics, lots of colors, buttons and cuffs. You can monogram the shirts with initials. We have an interactive video designer and it teaches you how to measure correctly. It takes about two minutes you log yourself in, you have an account with us and each time you check in you can design a new shirt. Then 15 minutes later you have your shirt, and it will fit perfectly because it’s truly custom-made. And it’s an affordable price— we have shirts for $30 dollars, while all most other custom-made shirts are over $200 dollars. Everybody is going crazy over them because we’re the only company in the world providing this type of quality for these prices. The name Alfa stands for affordable luxury for all. You don’t ever really get a true fit when you buy off the rack because all of us come in different shapes and sizes. So I’m very proud of World of Alfa.com, because in this economy you don’t have to break the bank to look good.
So men can go on this website, custom make a shirt, wear one and look as good as you in it?
Exactly [laughs.] And women look great in them too.
But we'd all have to put in a little time at the gym first, right?
Well... that’s another conversation. [laughs.]
For more information on Sophie’s Voice Foundation and spina bifida visit:
For more information on Boris Kodjoe’s custom made shirt line check out :