Felton Kizer Embarks On New Journey With KIZER Journal

You recently took some time off from Off-Kilter. What led to that?

The time off needed to happen for a few different reasons. 1) I wanted to shift our demographic and 2) I wanted to try to figure out new ways to produce content.

Shifting our demographic – When I started Off Kilter, we started with a DIY approach, but we never wanted to navigate that DIY scene. The DIY approach happened due to resources. We just did whatever we needed to do to get it done. By any means necessary. Because of the approach we took, we were in a crowd that didn’t necessarily match our product.

Produce new content – I stepped down as EIC and handed the position to Bee Tomlinson. I wanted to try curating different content segments for Off Kilter. We took the website down and got rid of our digital content. That just wasn’t who we are. Also, with digital content, it’s always that notion where you feel like you aren’t keeping up. At times it felt like we were trying to be first, but being first isn’t always right.

Rumor is… the third issue of Off-Kilter is coming out soon…

The third issue of Off-Kilter will feature all womyn and we will be running a campaign called Womyn Like Us. We are launching a crowdfunding campaign because we are trying to print 5000 copies. Our goal is to give half of these copies to CPS students. The team is very excited to drop this at the end of February. The campaign is going to be for 30 days and throughout the 30 days, we are going to be hosting a few different events that are tailored towards Womyn.

When you stepped down as EIC, what was that feeling like for you?

It was weird. It still is weird. But, I trust Bee Tomlinson with my whole heart. She is my best friend. She also understands how important Off-Kilter is to me so we talk all the time.

With things slowing down for Off-Kilter, you decided to work on your new endeavor, KIZER Journal…

KIZER Journal is our new menswear and lifestyle newspaper. The whole plan with KIZER Journal is to show a casual approach to menswear and lifestyle. We are launching this week. It’s going to be 8 pages and it’s a solely subscription based newspaper that we print once a month.

As I head to the website, you need membership access to view the website? Why did you decide on a membership access?

Honestly, I was inspired by being a member of Soho House. At KIZER Journal, you’ll be signing up for a membership, not a subscription. With a membership you get perks. When you subscribe to KIZER Journal you will get access to events we have. We are going to be having monthly events called KIZER Socials that all members and plus ones can attend for free. For people who may want to attend, they can sign up as well, if there is space, however, they will have to pay a fee. Also, in KIZER Journal, there’s a feature on skin-care routine and all of our members are going to get free samples of all of the products.

Is there going to be print and digital content?

We will be creating digital content on our feature called “We’ll Drink To That”. The first one we are creating is going to be with Koval. That collaboration video will be available on the internet for people to see. But, our members will get more in-depth access into the brand.

In this first release, who and what are some of the features?

On the cover, we have my friend Caleb Hammernick. Caleb is a photographer and videographer, but he is also a dark room photography teacher to high school students through Gallery 37. The idea for the cover for Issue 01 was just to have an everyday guy and that’s what Caleb represents. On top of that, we have a collaboration with Koval, a ‘nice denim’ moment, where we talk with some reps from brands in Chicago, and we have a nice moment on the perfect white shirt, whether that be a white t-shirt, dress shirt, or collar shirt.  

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You talked about how you wanted to challenge yourself by reading a book a week. What have you been reading that you could suggest to people?

Last week I just finished reading, We’re Going to Need More Wine, by Gabrielle Union. Beautiful book. It was very emotional and I learned so much about her. Also, I recently read This is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare, by Gabby Sidibe. That was really entertaining. And now, I’m currently reading, You Can’t Touch My Hair by Phoebe Robinson.


 

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Nicocreatives

Nico is the owner of Chicago Creatives. Nico looks to represent Chicago's artistic culture. For more readings, check out ChicagoCreatives.Co
Twitter: Rudboiiii

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