Wednesday, May 26, 2010
"The other week I went out to Las Vegas to interview Kenn Davenport who is one of the men responsible for KNYEW Clothing Boutique."
"I had just spent a few days in sin city and I was already feeling the repercussions. Late nights full of dancing and partying, lights everywhere, gambling etc. It was a lot to recover from. Luckily I picked the one place in Vegas where I could relax and connect with some real homies for a few hours. Kenn and I began our conversation with simple formalities and interesting stories from our businesses, yet as the night wore on I was able to hear some good insights into the streetwear industry from a man who has seen it all first hand."
"Something that Kenn and I both appreciate is a brand that stays true to its roots; meaning that we like to see creativity and businesses coming from people and not from no name entities that run it from the background. Putting a face or faces to a company is important to everyone involved. Kenn’s signature hair is easy to recognize and he never hesitates to be a representative for Knyew no matter what the situation."
"When DJ Crooked and DJ Neva approached Kenn three years ago to be a part of Knyew, Kenn was working at a local sneaker shop. All three of them decided that Las Vegas needed a focal point for fashion that carried something other than just the Ed Hardy. With their inspiration, their connections and a passion to be number one in the city, KNYEW was born."
"Making use of the friendships they had all formed throughout their lifetimes they were in a position to open accounts with some of the most prestigious brands on the market. When you walk in you instantly know you’re in good company."
"Kenn showed me around the office. I heard about Kenn’s ultimate dreams which include moving back to a beachside city in Italy that he fell in love with when traveling there. (Maybe it was the topless beaches… maybe). We talked about KNYEW’s success and about the rising popularity that their store and brand has been getting."
"When people would come up to Kenn on the street because they recognized him, it really threw him off. He said he’s still not used to it, but it’s definitely flattering. But he pointed out to me that he is just like any other guy on the street, he just “has big fucking hair.”
"I cruised around his store some more and found some of my favorite brands. We talked about The Hundreds and how he has watched them grow their business from the ground up. He is impressed with their marketing and with their ability to create a community around what they do. I shared with him a secret mission Ninja Neishon has with The Hundreds… so secret not even they know about it yet."
"I’m really diggin the art around the place. Kenn talked to me about how hard it was to define what their store was when they first opened. Las Vegas didn’t have a boutique dedicated entirely to streetwear at the time and so people would try and classify their shop as “urban.” He and I both agreed that the term “urban” is used in inappropriate ways. For instance the ethnicity of your skin can often determine whether a label you’re starting is considered skate, streetwear or urban. Obviously this is ridiculous, but it does happen. It’s a very interesting point to bring up and it deserves your attention next time you’re reading into labels. What makes something urban? What makes something streetwear? Just some food for thought, Ninjas. After a few hours I eventually had to get back for another night of Ninjaing in Vegas. I thanked Kenn again for taking the time to show me around and as I walked out I resisted my urge to pick up a few things while I was there. If I hadn’t been down a few hundred already I definitely would have… but next time for sure."