Spring of The Rookie Kiko Kostadinov – The way of the Dark Stallion

Bless up from your feet to your head top

We go again

I first encountered Kiko after his SS18 collection but in 2019 I wasn’t sure if I was late or early to the party but I was sure he was doing the right thing. This relative unknown then became the dark horse in the race to evolve menswear.

Kiko and his ASICS collab have had him in the sights of many men in fashion wanting more from him and wanting well of him, he seems to provoke in men what Chanel was said to have provoked in women back in her day. We see Kiko garner the attention of men all over wanting the uniform of ‘a man’, this really interests me as I have been working on my menswear thesis for quite some time Kiko seems to design in alignment to some of my brief. And as a relatively new and fairly obscure designer it seems he has a formula to bring more men into fashion.

This is why he is part of the Spring of the Rookie, I pick my rookies due to years in the game, Kiko Debut in 2017 and if you aren’t looking for him you may not find him but much like Sam Ross I feel his vigour and his energy is oxygen to the flame of the new Menswear ethos. Reason being you see Kiko here, I enjoy being on the right side of history and this man is my second gamble he may become a pillar of the community or a slab that lay the foundation this is my lot to say the former. I see him as someone that can grow into potentially one of the top designers of our generation given time and guidance

Kiko began his journey in Belgium of all places moving to the U.K. as a teen and going to Central Saint Martins. Already his story is quite interesting as an immigrant coming to London to study fashion is nary a thing you hear of, the creative arts is something that’s feared by immigrant families because its nature is due to a gamble not everyone is here to make it. My guess is Kiko bet on himself enough to get the funds to educate himself in fashion, as hard as it may be he done it as a man. I rarely hear stories of people coming to the U.K. to make it in Creative industries let alone business these stories are usually reserved for America. I believe this start is what draws certain men to Kiko that understanding of someone who decided to go for his dream and achieve it in a land he didn’t know. Whether he will stay here due to the U.K. laws on art and entrepreneurship, that’s a conversation for a different day. Kiko is here and men love him right now.

As a designer Kiko Kostadinov focuses highly on tailoring using his eye for utility his garments are very structured and he seems to challenge himself pushing the way he references and the kind of garments he constructs. The type of shapes and patterns he uses as details remind me of 70’s Abstract Modernism work, found in his beloved Belgium maybe Thomas Kapsalis morso Karel Maes if I do say so myself the shapes and colours certainly do seem inspired in that direction and that to me has me tip my hat of to him as someone drawing from his home and creating work that is representative of all things that are him.

Functionally his clothes seem to focus heavily on masculine aesthetic shows me so much about himself, his ethos certainly shows itself through his clothes and it is fair to say he enjoys his work. He seems to consider so much from his references in art to the designers and film. He doesn’t romanticise men but sees them how they are and enjoys being one, if that is an honest turn of phrase. So when we say he’s utilitarian it’s to mean he makes what is of use and when we say abstract modernist it’s to say he creates a design language recognisable to him without compromising the garment the wearer or himself.

I have to note he covers himself in controversy being so soon out as he is prone to profane outbursts calling out designers like Virgil Abloh for instance, turning his nose up at designers who may not be like him, you would think as an artist he would be more considerate of others feelings, yet he’s not. He leaves room for him to be memed as a tyrant that feels more prestige because of his pedigree having been to CSM and worked for certain labels. As an artist that talks about other artists as well I refrain from sending harsh or profane language someone’s way and if I critique its to be constructive because I want there to be a better intention for great work. I do see he is a whole person as an artist you buy into him and if you are cool with him you can be cool with his clothes. Maybe he comes from a space of love for the craft but I don’t see it as a valuable use of time talking about other designers this way as you are trying to come out of relative obscurity, not that I think it hurt or helps but that’s how I see it.

He shares a space with no one and may be here to define a new way or new lane for designers as a whole and create a language for men at mass, we are looking forward to something new as he has laid a foundation with these firsts collections, his work seems to have some sort of factory setting so it would be fun to see something different pushing his boundaries but there is something to be said for someone who is consistently showing greatness within the bounds they laid for themselves.

This is my Rookie Kiko

Whatever Moves Your Dial

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Spring Of The Rookie

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An Intro — Vibram the new player in industrial footwear and sneakers

We go again

I seen this name a couple of times in 2018 then it made headway all throughout 2019 I just had to write a quick blog about it.

It is effecting the culture and bridging the gap in tech for creating better footwear. The main thing about small footwear companies is the tech they use to make sneakers, it’s appalling and tough to stand on. There is nothing more uncomfortable than a company that doesn’t take in consideration the technology they use for soles.

Vibram is bridging that gap. Being a Development company that has been around for 80 years making mould for footwear and sport now they are rearing their head in the cultures companies.

If you didn’t know the creation of things like Boost, Zoom and Air technology is expensive to develop and takes so much time to research and test companies usually skimp on that part and chop together some sort of make shift model to sell to customers and if they do research the sneaker is incredibly expensive to buy because there is no mass production or order of the trainer (a topic for another day) simply put making a trainer is super expensive.

Vibram are the guys helping these companies getting the research out the way and focus on design. They have collaborated with the likes of Off White and Alyx removing the trouble of having these companies develop sole and midsole technology.

I really am keeping an eye on them but for now this is the intro to the sole company Vibram

Whatever Moves Your Dial

An intro to Erollson Hughes Acronym

We go again,

The guy behind Nike ACG menswear and what the streets would call the AF1 Abomination and the great redeemer Acronym Presto and what I will call the father of origami jackets. Errolson Hughs

Who is Acronym?

acronym-fw-1516-15

Acronym started out as a contract design firm who made their seed money designing gear for extreme sports and branched our to a personal design company in 1999 to make their own gear developed in house. 2002 Acronym was set on to the scene making products for years before cross pollination.

With their outerwear aesthetic Michaela and Errolson have been slowly building a credible brand who has an amazing aesthetic with prices not for the light pocketed. Kickass code names and well made app areal for those who are really out here appreciating the samurai Techwear look

Industrial Techwear

The ideal behind these pieces are just so incredible. I’m a lover of industrial design and will continue to analyse and adore the creation fabric and contortion of materials. Learning all about plastics and how they can be moulded into becoming weather proof is something I hold in high regard; each thing being made out of plastic but the polymer constitution changes its properties.

Nike ACG

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What I know Errolson for the most for is the Nike ACG collaboration before I knew any details I saw him in the most well constructed garments I’ve seen made for a man. The ACG collaborations with Nike have been the most creative thing industrially I think Johanna has something to do with why this — spawning the morphing of the AirMax 180 and 270 for people to create their own versions (more of my thoughts on this later). — The well constructed garments are a wonder to look at the sliding pockets shell form zips Male the silhouettes minimal but are made with the most complex techniques. Whoever has been steering this Techwear ship at Nike in the past 3/4 years well done.

Air Force 1 and Presto

The sneakers have been a contentious for the AF1 the Acronym team kind of destroyed the detailing and added a zipper but it slowly became a grailed Force one. The Presto though, straight away it was loved and adored from my purview and grew as a cornerstone of Techwear functional technical and full of utility.


Editors Note

Errolson Hugh’s has had a great team around him all the way through forged their own path and created a 20 year old company with such a high value now I adore the ability to make something of that level.

The Renaissance of Techwear is here and soon will be the most prominent form of menswear design due to its technical construction

Whatever Moves Your Dial

Not Your Typical