Get Familiar: Kick & Fits
Interview by Aziz Changoer
The pop-up event came together with the guides of us. The Kicks & Fits event might not sound familiar now, but it will be soon. In this event, we will Co-host the Kicks & Fits event with the owner of Demeanor and 7 other start-up companies. Giano, the owner of Demeanor, had a moment with us to tell more about this event and how it came to be.
Giano’s bond with Patta started in 2015 when he entered the company as an intern. This connection with Patta led to the upcoming pop-up event, which will incorporate talks on current fashion and community-building. Also, you will have the chance to rebirth your old sneakers at the sneaker cleaner and restoration service that will be present at the Kick & Fits pop-up event.
Suppose you want to know which brand will be at the pop-up event. In that case, you can get familiar with Kick & Fits by reading the article below, where Giano sheds some light on the brands that will be there and why they're a good fit to collaborate with for this event if you want to know the where and when of the event, then you should also get familiar with Kicks & Fits
Can you tell us about the inspiration behind creating Kicks & Fits and what drove you to combine fashion, community engagement, and entrepreneurship in this event?
Since I have been working for Patta I have set up, worked on and created pop up shops for collaborative partners but also for exclusive releases for “special” products. Edson and I saw a great opportunity for me to showcase my experience in event/pop up shop organizing and also be able to show not only my friends their brands but my own brand Demeanor as well. Patta has always been about community, pushing their people forward and giving them opportunities to explore or expose what they are working on. Combining all these elements together we created Kicks & Fits.
How did the idea of hosting a pop-up shop and incorporating talks, shoe cleaning, and restoration services come about for Kicks & Fits?
Just doing a popup retail space felt like it wouldn't be storytelling enough so we wanted to add some elements to make it a broader community space for the two days that the event will be. Talks from Gowtu and Nike’s Black Department will be able to show how our community has been working not only for but within a big industry at a high level. Shoe cleaning and restoration services are an addition to the event because of personal relationships with DFNS and Sasha Bright of Bright Shoe Cleaning to add another element to the full experience of how we live within and through fashion.
Could you elaborate on the selection process for the 8 entrepreneurs who will have the opportunity to promote their brand and stories at the retail pop-up space?
One of the six brands that will be in the space is my own brand Demeanor that I officially launched last year and through the relationships that I built I have met amazing people who have built their own brands as well. It had always been an ambition of mine to curate a space where we could all stand together and show everybody not only how our own brand journeys have evolved but being able to show how tight and strong our community can be together. The two brands that came through from Patta Academy were an addition to not only give them a space to activate their brand but we also incorporated Patta Academy alumni to help build up the event through adding as production workers and hostesses to guide the event. This made it full circle in shaping the idea of the event and the space.
In what ways do you envision Kicks & Fits contributing to the local community in De Poort, Bijlmer, and providing a platform for creative businesses?
Kicks & Fits will show our own community in the Poort, as a predominantly black area, that we have the ability to do great things together. Showing the hard work of 8 brands built from that community and those cultural backgrounds together with showcasing our community members who have used entrepreneurship to create their own outlet of inspiration. This space will show a lot of what we can do and hopefully motivate others to do even bigger things.
Can you shed light on the featured brands and entrepreneurs, such as Demeanor, Fat Crayon Creative, Hafsiya Moussa, Camino, Secluded, Never Everland, Sanslimite, and 241? What sets them apart in the fashion and creative industry?
Fat Crayon Creative and Camino are two brands based in Rotterdam built by two of my friends, Jari and Demy. My first encounter with Fat Crayon was as a model for one of their product shoots and that is also where I met Demy. Fat Crayon and Camino are two brands which have a huge impact within their community with Fat Crayon providing culturally inspired products from sweatsuits to tracksuits, football kits and accessories for daily life use. Camino goes from big graphic t-shirts to caps and now even sweatpants as well. Hafsiya Moussa has been one of my day one Patta colleagues and before who for the biggest portion has been on the same journey as I have been. She started her own knitwear business a year plus ago where her first products were full knitted by hand balaclavas for winter and she will be expanding into other knitwear in the future. Mala of Secluded and Jair of Never Everland are two creatives who have been in my life since I really started my creative journey 10 years ago. They started their brand journeys a bit earlier and since then they have been doing broad arrangements of products which are from the Secluded point of view built on the more technical fashion side of utilizing products whereas Never Everland is directed towards Surinamese culture and the products reflect those stories. Sanslimite and 241 were brands that came out of the Patta Academy where I asked for a motivational explanation of their brands and a showing of products as well. Edson wanted the Academy to be very much involved in all levels so we definitely had to have them in the mix. As mentioned before Demeanor is my own brand which I officially launched a year ago. I always had a passion for fashion which I now started to translate into pieces that in my wardrobe are essential. But because of the necessity for a broader arrangement of sizing I adjust my pieces to fit more body types and also add either technical or aesthetically pleasing details.
The talks by the Black Department of Nike and Gowtu are a central element of Kicks & Fits. How do these talks align with the ethos and objectives of the event?
The talks specifically from the Black Department of Nike and Gowtu are central to show the community that it is not only clothing or shoes that you have to get into to have a big impact on your audience or target group. Just as important, it should be a goal for us as people with less opportunities in certain places to put ourselves into places to succeed and elevate ourselves where Nike provides a big branded platform to be able to work in whereas Gowtu is a team who has specialized themselves in branding, strategy, content creation, design, community building and creative production while originating from the Amsterdam nightlife and street culture which creates amazing opportunities to integrate their views in projects with big brands like Nike, Dior and Heineken to name a few.
Could you share more details about the shoe maintenance showcase and what attendees can expect to learn and experience during these showcases?
Bright Sneaker Cleaning is not only one of our friends and community members but he has built his restoration business on own passion for shoes and for older shoes also. Being able to revive your old gems and deep cleaning your current gems he provides the best service to keep your full fit fresh.
DFNS has been a shoe cleaner brand staple in the industry for years and has stuck by Patta for years and been a collaborative partner as well. This made it a perfect addition to provide an extra element for the event. While also providing Bright with his sneaker cleaning product, building a new relationship in the process.
Finally, how can individuals and businesses interested in participating, attending, or supporting Kicks & Fits get involved or stay updated with the event's updates and announcements?
Definitely keep tabs on all brands and partners their social media outlets and watch out for posters around the city of Amsterdam. And definitely pull up on the 20th and 21st of October in de Poort Amsterdam Zuidoost in the old Van Haren building.
If your excitement to witness the pop-up brands on October 20th and 21st at Kicks & Fits is reaching its peak, we've gone ahead and curated a sneak peek of all the brands to give you a taste of what's in store this upcoming weekend. Brands include Demeanor, Fat Crayon Creative, Hafsiya Moussa (custom knitwear), Camino, Secluded, Never Everland, Patta Academy ,Sanslimite, 241, Bright Shoe Cleaning, DFNS shoe, Gowtu and Nike.