Our streetwear spotlight is aimed at a Salt Lake city-based brand this time, a brand which shows that you don’t have to only be street-smart, but also book-smart if you want to start your own streetwear line. Introducing Kep Niles Clothing, which fascinated SoJones editors with its humble, yet clever start. Magnus Niles, owner of Kep Niles, talked to SoJones about his clothing brand:
Introduce yourself and describe how your brand was started?
My name is Magnus Niles age 25, From Salt Lake City, UT. My brand Kep Niles Clothing was started in 2002, But just to get a little background on me and my desires to start my own clothing company.
Ever since I can remember I have always been into art, I loved art, it was one of those things that I was just really good at. After years of taking art classes and drawing on every piece of school work, People really took a liking to my art even the teachers that would see it all over my school work; in my junior year of High school I took a marketing class. It was that class that I finally realized what I wanted to do as far as my future career. My teacher a very passionate businessman/teacher. He taught us the difference between living and surviving, when you’re living you tend to really love and enjoy what you do, and when you’re surviving you’re only working for a paycheck.
One day a student walked into class a little late and before he could sit down the teacher Mr. Stevens asked the kid… (I Still remember what brand of shirt it was…the brand Mecca), after chuckling a little he asked the kid “How much did you spend on that shirt”…The kid replied a little hesitant…”$40.00”, the teacher said, “ok, do you know what it cost for that company to make it?” The kid again looked a little hesitant but said “No, I don’t know how much it cost them to make it” the teacher chuckled again, then the teacher replied “it probably cost them pennies to make that shirt you just spent $40.00 on”. It was at that moment that I took everything I learned in those classes from Mr. Stevens and decided that I am going to Live instead of survive, I’m going to put my art on clothing and sell it all over the world…it was an amazing feeling, I finally found something where I can support myself through my passion and enjoy what I do every day. But to top it off, after he taught us that very good lesson, he assigned us a project.
The project was to make a product from scratch, come up with a name, label it just as if it were a real product in the market; we even had to make a commercial for our product. We all had to get into groups and start brainstorming, I knew instantly what I wanted to come up with, but I thought it would be fare to listen and see if my group members had any ideas, after 2 class periods of not coming up with an idea as a group. I finally revealed my idea, and that was to create our own line of t-shirts, my group members thought it was a brilliant idea cause I already had the logo and concept ready, so on we went, we did everything that was required, one of our group members already had a business in video taping Weddings, so we had professional equipment for our commercial, after that we wrote up the treatment for the commercial.
We got permission to do our commercial out of Champ sports as if it were a Kep Niles Clothing Store, everyone in the mall crowded around as if it were real clothing commercial, I thought to myself “ this is it…this is what I want to do for a living”.
It was finally the day of the presentation of our project; we had a few models stand in front of the class while we played our commercial. After it was finished we asked if there were any questions from the students but the only questions they asked was when and where they could place orders with us. It was such a great feeling to know that my dream was already coming true, people wanted to buy my designs. After class my teacher pulled me aside and told me from his experience as a business man “You have something Great here… all you need is perseverance and to stay focused to succeed if this is really what you want to do”. From that day I have always done what I enjoy… expressing my art through clothing/fashion.
Describe this season’s theme for your line. Include any sources of inspiration (examples: 80’s punk, muses like Amber Rose, 70’s disco bands, Kanye, etc)
I don’t have any specific theme for this season… My main goal is to continue to make Fresh Classic Clean gear by Kep Niles. Our designs are more focused on having that simple but Fresh Classic Clean look, also my goal as the designer is that when ever someone wears our brand that which they feel and are these three words…FRESH CLASSIC CLEAN.
Any product placements on celebs to keep an eye out for (examples: publicity photos, magazines, movies, music videos etc)
We have a few things in the making right now but we want it to be a surprise.
What has been a surprise fashion hit over the last year?
Skinny jeans, I have to quote a verse from Jay-z “I don’t wear skinny jeans cause my knots don’t fit” I’m not knocking anyone who wears em, personally there just not for me…
What current fashion trend would you like to see thrown overboard?
The whole oversized look…such as T-shirts that are made for people like Shaq but you got a 17 year old kid wearing it like it was made specifically for him. (Not a Good Look)
What is/was one of your most prized fashion pieces, past or present?
Back in the day I had a Polo sweater that had nothing more than a guy on a horse playing polo, with the hat to match… Mad compliments but favorite pieces.
TuPac or Biggie?
Tupac!!! I enjoy the hell out of biggies classics but I was more inspired by Tupac. He was a Strong dude that carried a lot on his shoulders and accomplished so much at such an early age.
Kep Niles indeed consists of awesome t-shirts and you can get them at their online shop: http://kepnilesclothing.bigcartel.com or check what they’re up to at www.kepnilesclothing.com. The t-shirts range from $25 up to $50, which, seeing from the FRESH CLASSIC CLEAN quality, is a very good bargain!
Like what you’ve seen above? Here are some more Kep Niles clothing for you:
KEP NILES GIVEAWAY!
We are really excited to give out THREE Kep Niles T-Shirt to THREE Lucky winners!
Here’s how it works:
1. Every SoJones comment posted on this page from August 27th to September 9, 2010 counts as a “lottery entry”. Also make sure when you comment, have a link to somewhere we can contact you (like your SoJones account, your facebook, etc.). It makes it easier to contact you if you win.
2. Drawing for THREE winners will be held on September 10th. Winners will be announced on this page and on the forums page (http://www.sojones.com/forums/).
Article Comments Lottery Rules
One item per winner
Previous winners must wait 30 days before entering this contest
Duplicate comments will not count, like posting “I love this forum” or “hi” 50 times.
Garbage or nonsensical comments will not count, like “awr#$ASFasdfkl”
Comments hating on other people will definitely NOT count.
U.S. residents only