For a large amount of designers the motivation behind their dream is monetary. Yes, they must possess a genuine eye for fashion to be successful. But that doesn’t negate the reality that most brands are, likely, primarily interested in the monetary gain.
Then there’s Kikkit! A Richmond based clothing brand whose concept is quite the opposite. Don’t let me trick you by implying they’re not about the benjamins. They are! However, the owner’s motivation is slightly different. With options that range from everyday street wear and Kikkit Vans to custom distressed denim, there is no shortage in options, or talent.
His amazing wife is also a business owner, whose main drive focuses on giving back to the community by creating a safe and nurturing environment for youth to explore creative outlets and skills through free workshops. The two have partnered together in their goal of creating an empire built on partnership, happiness and giving back. With designs that promote Kikkits growth, as well as pieces that support a cause.
Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with Kikkit owner, Gotti, to get some insight on what we can expect from him, and the causes he’s giving back to, in the future.
To stay up to date with Kikkit Apparel you can check them out on IG at @_kikkit_ and their online shop, www.KikkitApparel.com.
I saw that you recently dropped some custom Vans. What expansion can we expect in the direction of Kikkit shoes?
Yeah, they’re actually up on the web page now! They’re called the K1 Galaxies and Vans has agreed to get behind us with support it so we’re just working on getting them out there! We’ve got both low tops and high tops that the team put together and are looking forward to eventually rolling out the K2’s, K3’s, K4’s, etc.
They’re currently being sold on Kikkit’s website, www.KikkitApparel.com, in every size from kids to adult.
How did you connect with Vans to make this possible?
I pretty much just did my research, looked into the Vans website and that’s when I realized Van’s will allow you to do custom designs. At that point we decided to take it a step further and decided to go ahead and give them a call. Just to see if there was something they could do as far as helping us, you know? We talked to a couple of rep’s and were essentially told they weren’t interested in getting involved with a clothing line but would definitely get behind shoes.
I attended a networking event you put together a while back where you had given a speech on what your brand means that really resonated with me. Would you mind summarizing it for me today?
Kikkit apparel is clothing brand that represents the inner you. The inner self. It’s a reminder to not be influenced by others, family, money, etc. and to just stand by who you are. Then we created these two other brands underneath Kikkit, which is LOC Life and Kikstacks. LOC (Living Off the Clock) which basically means to enjoy life! Everyone works a 9-5 and is getting up and repeating the same routine everyday and LOC is a reminder to take time out of your day to do something different. Don’t just stick to the same, comfortable, routine. Kikstacks is basically just saying “Fuck Money!” It’s not something that you need to worry about all the time. You shouldn’t be thinking like, “All I live for is to make money.” You’ve got to enjoy the other parts of life.
At that same networking event, you mentioned your wife’s business and how you’re working to help her fund her current project. Do you mind telling me more about that?
My wife works in nursing/the medical field and has been looking for a way to give back to the community herself. So when she one day made a comment like, “Hey, I want to work on opening a group home as my way of giving back to the kids and the community!” I thought, “Well, this is cool!!” We figured we could do it in a way where I could come through and teach kids skills about being an entrepreneur, music, whatever. Same thing with other creatives and business owners in the area who’d like to be involved. Then we could help give/get them jobs and teach them how to build certain skills. Obviously this needs funding though. So I figured out a way to make Kikkit a sponsor to help get the vision out there. Working together, we actually creating a shirt that says “I Know Who I Am” and all proceeds go to helping her fund the beginning stages of this venture.