Urbanwear Iconoclasts#7:Kuki|| London based Japanese StreetWear,Skate and Lifestyle brand

Urbanwear Iconoclasts#7:Kuki|| London based Japanese StreetWear,Skate and Lifestyle brand

The streetwear game is far more complex than its shown to be.-”Kuki”

Within this interview Series, i have the pleasure, to meet some creative, innovative and great Individuals, brands that are flipping things upside down,creating products and visions,that somehow shape the future of Apparel and Fashion.

one of these Brands is Kuki London a skate lifestyle & apparel brand. that aims to Bring together elements of Japanese and British culture for the skate industry.

We sat Down with the brand’s Founders,to further dicuss the streetwear industry,their Love for the  japanese Aesthetics,Design and their aim to build a Strong brand,How they set and capture trends..Here’s the Full Interview: 

 

How did you initially work on the design signatures of “Kuki London”? Have they developed since the first time you launched the brand?

Since we first launched the company to the world, the design of the logo / pattern , mascot has not changed.

They took a few months to develop in the first place, and we decided to stick with our branding as it shows consistency.

Why do you think people have responded to the brand so well?

I hope that people have responded to the brand in a positive way because we offer an alternative design solution which is innovative compared to some of the larger companies which are currently dominating the market.

Kuki stands for being different, and we pride ourselves as going against the norm.

 What is the most important thing you have learnt about the fashion industry thus far and wish you hadn’t learnt?

The most important thing which we have learnt is how to stay ahead of trends, we found this with our face masks in the early stages of last year, where we were one of the first companies to put masks into production.

Now we have seen a flux of people imitating and doing the same thing. The fashion industry at the moment

especially in the streetwear industry is based around hype and exclusivity which did take us a bit by surprise.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BQPw8aojv2o/

we offer an alternative design solution which is innovative compared to some of the larger companies which are currently dominating the market.

Did you have a business plan ? “Like, I’ve got to make X amount of Money to do this and that.? Or were you just like, “Fuck it, I’m going to start this company and see what comes out of it?

Of course we had a business plan, each of the co founders made one separately to show what each of us wanted from our company, then we combined them and refined it. We had a budget in mind, and we kept to it.

 No company should start on a whim, that is a recipe for failure.

If you guys don't know her don't @ me 🖕🏽 📸 | @josh_snaps / @_flowerchildx

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What has been the most difficult part about creating and growing “Kuki”?

Some of the struggles with our company growing is how we have so many ideas which we want to create and we have to hold back, and release them at the right time.

As designers the world is our oyster, but realistically we have to be smart with the money we have, so we don’t blow it quickly!

Man a wear black for @donaeo music video 💀 📸 | @ben_awin / @eltomo_w

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How do you manage the people involved with “Kuki” and does it gets sometimes overwhelming to run the brand? How do you stay accountable and move forward when you have so much on your plate?

I manage the people involved with kuki like every team does, everyone has responsibilities and we just check up on everyone systematically to make sure that tasks are done.

The boring bits such as replying to emails and speaking to manufacturesrs is not an easy task, and it takes everyone involved to get the results that we need.

Our team is small, consisting of only 4 memebers and we do every task ourseveles. In the beginning of any company, every member has to learn how the company run so that as we expand, we know the system and can deligate the tasks more to other people.

I trust my own judgement and try and use my own creative powers to push our company forward.

 

Do you see yourself as your own mentor to your brand or are there other creators or brands that you look up to?

I obviously have brands and designers who I admire, however I really do not try and imitate or copy from any of them.

I have love for all things art and design, from fine art painitngs to architectural sound buildings. I trust my own judgement and try and use my own creative powers to push our company forward.

 

When looking for brands to collaborate with, what is important to you?

Can it be Kukied? How can our take on design help to influence their brand in a new an unique manor.

Lucky for us we have created a pattern much like the Louis Vuitton pattern, which can be masked and moulded to any shape or form. We developed this for a reason.

As long as the company we are looking to work with has a great design team working with us, we are happy to collaborate with anyone who is a Kuki fan.

 

Other succuesss would be our collaborations, we have worked with amazing muscians and designers which is where our real passions are. Connecting with brilliant creatives.

There’s a heavy japanese influence when it comes to “Kuki”,why is that? could you elaborate more on what interests you within the Japanese aesthetics?

There is a heavy influence of Japanese aesthetics to our brand, it is from our love of the design ethos which the Japanese have built. Long lasting, simplictic, fit for purpose.

 These simple design objectives is something we like to hold ourself too. The Japanese take care with all types of design, from the pacakaging of their foods to the beautiful intricate fabrics they create for kimonos. It is all beautiful.

1 hour to go ⏱ #kukicabinfever 📸 | @josh_snaps

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    Consumer involvement is rarely used in this industry, it’s not gospel to follow, but it helps in understanding how consumers think..  We have items which are busy and full on, and some which are a bit more demure, we test items and see what works and what doesn’t. 

i can’t help but think of “Agile methodology” and Techniques like “A/b testing when hearing this? did you have a business trainining,books that made you do business this way? or is it just plain exeperimentation?

We did not have any training books for creating this business. We used our initivies, and did our research.

We are fairly methodical people who have been surrounded by family buisneses all our lives, so naturally we have had it in our blood to work for ourselves since day one.

You can’t help but notice how much skate has infiltrated the world of high fashion.SupremeX Louis Vuitton,Palace worn by “ASAPRocky.. What do you think of it all ,since you identify Kuki as a “London based Japanese street wear, skate and lifestyle brand.?

 

The streetwear game is far more complex than its shown to be. Some people think you can just get a tshirt,and print on it and it will sale off the shelves like pancakes. However it is influences who are the determinate factors for an industry like this.

Once it has been sighted on a celebrity of some nature, it is deamed ‘cool’ and people will buy the product with notion of this. If you want to be regonised as a hype brand, this is the route. If you want to build a brand up on ethics, and designs, it might take a bit longer.

Once you get big companies who own the market, they can do what ever they want, like collab with LV and charge an extortionate amount for their products, who is going to stop them really.

 

The brand has come a long way since you started : what would you describe as ultimate success for the brand? Which factors contributed to the success up until now?

Having our first pop up shop on the world famous Brick Lane was our first accomplishement which we all slaved

day and night to put together. All the design, restorating and decorating was done by myself and my cofounder. Working 9–5 jobs and in the evening working on a shop building sight to achieve this result.

 Other succuesss would be our collaborations, we have worked with amazing muscians and designers which is where our real passions are. Connecting with brilliant creatives.

 

What’s the role of social media now and in the future growth of Kuki?And how would you plan to grow the brand otherwise? would it be mainly through collaborations,or get celebrities..to wear “Kuki”?

The role of social media is to spread the Kuki name far and wide, and hopefully grow our audience world wide.

The other ways to grow the business would be to set up our first flagship store, which can be the centre contact point for everyone.

Collaborations is what we’ve been doing since the offset, its always in our budget to work with individuals and companies and we will never stop working in this way.

Identify who you are, and whether there is a gap for you in the market. DO NOT COPY ANOTHER BRAND

 

 

When you get caught wining behind some girl at the club 🤤

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What is your tip for all those young fashion brands on their path to success?

Identify who you are, and whether there is a gap for you in the market. DO NOT COPY ANOTHER BRAND.

 I see so many ideas out in the market which is based around someone elses desgins. Find your strengths and capitalise on it. Don’t give up at the first hurdle, two steps forward and one step back is still progress.

Da freak of the week 🖖🏽 #kukilondon 📸 | @josh_snaps / @_flowerchildx

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Your Lookbooks,Instagram Pictures,are insane, innovative and have an avant-garde agressive edge to it. was that intended? and who’s behind the concepts,idea,contacting models? walk me through your process when it comes to that side of the Business…

Thank you that is very kind of you! Our intension is not to have the same shots that the rest of the world has. We want to use different imagery, to show the world that we are thinking about things in a different way.

We don’t not plan too much into our shoots, we use the creative sparks which keep us strong as designers.

 Obviously working with brilliant people / models in our shoots who like our company means that we can bounce ideas off eachother very quickly.

All shoots are managed by myself and my co-founder, who is extremely brilliant at coming up with ideas on the spot, without him it would not be as ‘avant-garde’ as you put it.

Friends, Family & Countrymen 😷😷 #kukilondon

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So where do you see KUKI Streetwear heading, given your background?

Kuki streetwear will brand more into an all round brand. Our background is a mix of architecture and product design, we hope that there will be nothing that stands in our way of designing.

If we can think it, we want to at least give it a go at designing.

The Sith Lord 👽 @elizavida_ #kukilondon

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KukiLondon:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kukilondon/

Website:http://www.kukilondon.com/

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