Get Familiar
As a small, independent brand, almost all our business is based on personal relationships. As true fans of sneaker culture, we are deeply invested in this retail game. We have strong connections to everyone we work with, and to introduce the people behind the tight circle of global Patta stockists, we decided to include retail partners in our Get Familiar series. This time we're sitting down with Pol, on of the co-founders of 24Kilates, read down below what the Bangkok based retailer had to say.

How did 24Kilates start off?
Me and Ricky come from a skateboard background, 20 years ago we used to do all the distribution and wholesale for all big skate-brands. We were travelling a lot, having meetings, selling product and meeting new people. Basically, we were just really into skateboarding, graffiti, all that stuff. At one point Ricky decided to leave the company we were working at, I spoke to him and decided to leave as well, then we decided to start our own company. We joint venture with a third party, who invested some money, and he was managing the store. He already owned some other retail spaces and he wanted to open up a different kind of fashion store more catered to our interests, and so we did.

How did you end up meeting Ricky, your business partner?
Basically, he was working on the same distribution as I did, just another line. We worked one in front of the other for 4 to 5 years, that’s how we became good friends. Because of some of our mutual interests we would go snowboarding on the weekends, and just hang out.

So, this distribution you did with Ricky, which brands did you sell?
Oh man, we did a lot, we did Burton, Anon, Gravis, that’s how it started, with Skateboard brands like Airwalk and Etnies. Up until this day we still do the distribution for New Balance in the Cataluña area, so we never stopped doing it.

What attracted/ got you into fashion?
So were really into Skateboarding but we were also collectors, we were hoarding all kinds of stuff. While we did the distribution for these American brands, we had to go to the USA a lot. While we were there, we started buying sneakers, toys and that’s how we really got hooked.

What do you look for in a brand before you decide to add them to your portfolio?
We’re fans of a lot of classic brands like Polo, Tommy and North Face but nowadays we just buy things that we like. We’re into graphic stuff but we’re not really into brands that just slap their logo on some garments. Aside from how it looks we think it’s really important that brands have their own identity and have a unique energy.

You’ve recently closed your Barcelona retail space but your store in Bangkok is still in full effect, what is the link between these two cities?
When we stopped doing the distribution job, we were stressed out, we didn’t know what to do. We had some money left so we decided to travel to Asia, we visited Japan, Hongkong and Bangkok in order to meet some new faces and get some inspiration for the store. When we went to Thailand we immediately fell in love with Bangkok, so we went back and forth a lot when we got money.

What do you like so much about Thailand, and more specifically Bangkok?
The first time we went it wasn’t as crowded as it is now and we just really love the people there, they have a good energy. The beach is great, and everything is original, since Thailand has never been colonized.

How did you end up getting in touch with Patta?
We set up shop in 2004 so back then there weren’t a lot of similar stores. We had our shop in Barcelona and Barcelona and Amsterdam are connected through football of course. So, a lot of Dutch people used to come to the shop and tell us we should visit Patta. Patta was also a funny name to us because in Spain Patta is a type of Ham, so it immediately sparked our interest.

So when we visited Amsterdam we went there and asked who the owner was, Edson was there and he immediately introduced us to Tim and that’s where it begun. I remember we were talking about our collaboration with New Balance and about the Patta Gel-Lyte 3. Sometime later the Bread and Butter show was hosted in Barcelona and these guys called me if they could stay at my place, I said yes and they all flew over. I remember Gee was sleeping on the floor, Tim on the couch and after that we visited each other a lot.

We are all about empowering creatives and aspiring entrepreneurs: Do you have any piece of advice for anyone wanting to open a store themselves?
Starting a multi brand is really hard nowadays, so if you want to start make sure your concept is really unique and isn't out there yet.