- Sup everybody, names Adverse. Owner of Kings Without Crowns and bboy for Knuckleheads Cali
- I’d say I first got into streetwear through skateboarding, a giant chunk of streetwear is taken from skateboarding. Skateboarding is by far the rawest element of streetwear, it just doesn’t get any more street than that.
- For me I’d have to say 10 Deep and Obey, at least before it got super commercialized. I was always really into poster art and was a huge fan of Shepard Fairey, that helped me find Obey as a brand in it’s early stages.
- When Kings Without Crowns was started becoming a brand was never the goal, it was just a name me and my homie Lester Burn Em used to hustle our bboying. Lester and I were in crew together that we both ended up both dropping due to some personal issues. Bboying was the only income we had so we continued to hustle battles and shows as solo dancers to pay the bills, but would have to make up a different bullshit name every time. We entered a crew battle with a bunch of random homies under “Kings Without Crowns” and thought that the name was too dope for a one time use. We tried to see if any of the guys wanted to keep the squad going, when that didn’t work out we kept pushing along just the two of us. From then on, every thing we did related to the hustle was done as Kings Without Crowns.
- Bboys all the way. Since day one the bboy community has been my main supporters. I’d definitely give a big shout Samo from X Fenz / Forever Fresh Funk out of New York, he was actually the first dude I ever reached out to and “sponsored” as a young brand. I also give a ton of credit to my crew, Knuckleheads Cali. Before I was even a part of the squad, they repped Kings Without Crowns HARD and took it all over the world winning major international titles while rocking brand gear. I can’t thank them enough for what they did in terms of generating international exposure for me early on in my career.
- Coming from an art background, I see what I do as way more than just making and selling t shirts. I create each piece one by one and everytime I slang a piece, I feel like I’ve sold a painting or an art print. I went from making posters here and there for my own personal satisfaction to travelling the world selling hundreds of prints a month. As an artist I felt a HUGE sense of accomplishment, it was a bigger response to my creativity than I could have ever imagined. The larger the brand grew however, the more I realized that if I didn’t get the business side of things under control, everything could fall apart and I fucking hated it. I wanted NOTHING to do with the business of running a brand.
- I’d definitely say that a huge part of my market is dancers, but they are not my target audience in the least. I design my collections with streetwear in mind, not necessarily “BBOY” streetwear. I feel like my Kings Without Crowns has the most potential to crossover to the streetwear market out of all the other brands in my community, however, a transition like that isn’t going to just happen overnight. My distribution is totally private, and not putting my gear up in shops makes it a much bigger challenge to push the brand to a wider audience. I’m not too worried though, the brand is constantly growing, quality speaks for itself, and sooner or later people will catch on.
- I do most of my designing in my head while I’m printing, that shit is straight up meditation for me. The work is mad repetitive, so it totally puts me in the zone and I’m usually able to go from concept, to composition, to graphic without ever being in front of a computer. I work at a print shop full time during the day then get home and print in my shop til I’m ready to pass out, so I have plenty of time behind a press to refine a concept before I do any drafting. If I can’t get a design to work for me as soon as I get cracking on it, it’s usually not ready yet and I’ll get back behind a press and figure out where it needs to be fixed.
- I feel like that dude is a notorious hater, but there’s definitely weight behind his statement. I just feel like this generation of kids doesn’t really know what they’re actually into since it’s so easy to be a “follower” now-a-days. How are you supposed to develop your own genuine interests when you’re always so busy finding out what everyone else is on? You need to start somewhere though. Most of these kids will probably fall off in the next 6 months, but who knows, maybe the ones that actually stick around will end up changing the game in the future for the rest of us!
- That was actually my 2nd year as a brand. During that time I had a couple original concepts that I was hella stoked on, but sales were slow. I was still brand new and didn’t really have an audience that was down for them. Then I put out the “Just Do You” Nike spoof graphic. I wasn’t really feeling it at all, but that shit turned out to be GOLD. I went up to Madison, WI to slang tees at what was the largest bboy event in the Midwest called “Breaking The Law” and brought my new secret weapon with me. Knowing this could be my big break, I put every single dollar I had into my brand and printed as many “Just Do You” tees as I could in multiple color options. As soon as the doors to the event opened, people straight up FLOODED my table and by the end of the weekend I had sold all but 5 out of a couple hundred tees that I brought with me. It was the most money I had ever had at one time in my entire life and I knew that this was my chance to do so some damage. I’d be able to make some moves that could put my company on the map, so of course, I went out to celebrate. Once we wrapped up at the after party, I got back to my truck and find out that the bag that had all the money from the event was stolen. I was never able to explain how it happened, or who did it, but at that point every dollar that I had to my name was gone.
- Japan is a major focus for me. I’ve been mainlining product to my partner Hideki in Tokyo for about two years and we’ve been operating a dedicated Japanese online store for the last year. We’re really working hard to tighten up our business out and make our mark on the Japanese scene. I have a similar system for California in the works, so I’m excited to get started with that.
- As cliche as it sounds, just do you. No one can do you as good as you can. Don’t make shit that you think everyone else will like, make shit that YOU genuinely like and do it the best you can. Don’t cut corners, don’t slack, and don’t give in to what everyone else thinks is “cool”. If you’re not making something that you’re personally proud of, you might be in this game for the wrong reasons.
- MAJOR shoutout to my dad for sure, I would have gone down in flames a long time ago if it wasn’t for him. He’s my #1 supporter by far and a big part of my drive is being able to show him that all this shit going to work in the end. My homie Berto who went to hell and back with me during the earlier years of the brand, couldn’t have done it without that fool. My crew Knuckleheads Cali, those guys have my back harder than anyone else and are constantly inspiring me to try harder. My girl Lynette for keeping my head on straight when I’m about to lose my shit. All the cats who have ever lent me a hand from carrying luggage at events, to flipping tees in my shop. I wouldn’t be able to do all this without the boost that gives me. The help is definitely appreciated.
Kings Without Crowns