Founded by the young artist Colm Dillane, Kidsuper is a fashion label based in the creative neighborhood of Brooklyn, NYC. The collections are characterized by a glaring artistic influence reflected through illustrations covering amusing clothes loaded with personality.
We got our hands on an MOUBSENDOTCOM interview with Colm and were able to get exclusive insight on the genius behind the non-stop rising brand. Enjoy!
In talks with the highly talented Colm Dillane, from Brooklyn, New York – Creator and designer at KidSuper
What’s up, Colm? Tell us where you’re from and how you started KidSuper.
I’m from New York City I often say this, but I think if I had not lived in New York City I would’ve not been able to create the brand KidSuper. The reason I started was because going to high school in Brooklyn was kind of like a fashion show each. The cool kids in high school in Brooklyn were not the quarterbacks or the cheerleaders, it was more about who had the most style or the most charisma so from there that’s when my desire to make clothes stemmed from. When I was a little child I moved a lot and I think that being the new kid in school all the time and meeting new friends, I was always like “Hey my name is Colm let’s be best friends!” is the energy that you find in KidSuper as well as “We only have a day left let’s make the most of it.” I never knew how long I was going to stay in at one a spot.
You talked about enthusiasm being contagious. Even if you’re not the most talented, if you come with the most energy and willingness to work harder than others, people will appreciate that. How have you been able to correlate your designs with that theme?
I think a good example of this, are is the fashion shows. The first one was called “Bull in a China shop”, which was a metaphor for the brand in terms of: we were bulls crashing into everything, just trying to get ourselves heard. Being kind of the small fish in a water tank, where no one knows you. I think if I didn’t have that enthusiasm it would’ve never been possible because you have to be a little bit crazy to think you can pull off a Paris fashion show with almost no budget and no time.
The second fashion show is called “running as fast as you can”. That was obviously kind of my moment where I was questioning myself if I should do it again because I had already been rejected by Paris fashion week and I asked myself if I should do it again and if it’s worth putting so much work into it. In the end I was like “fuck it”, run as fast as u can, try the hardest we can!
Enthusiasm is contagious and I wish I could be credited with that quote but I think Confucius said it first. (Colm laughs)
How would you like your audience to interpret your work?
I think I would like the audience to to be inspired in a way that makes them dream bigger and to become more ambitious. Additionally, having a sense of humor towards everything. I mean, at the end of the day we’re working as hard as we can but we also know what and who we are and we’re always trying to have fun with it. I would like people to come back to the KidSuper and think OK this is how you dream big and this is what it means to be truly free.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
The best advice is “shoot for the moon even if you miss, because you still land amongst the stars”. I think for me this is the most corny one but the way I took it, is just to go for it even if you don’t succeed. The journey and everything around it is just as worth it! When I was very little my dad gave me a coffee mug with that quote on it. Even though I never drank coffee in my life (Haha) but shout out to my dad.
What is creativity to you? Do you consider yourself to be creative?
I think creativity is problem-solving and I think I’m a very good problem solver. Everyone always translates that to being creative but I think we all have creative skills and there’s a kind of a self-confidence ego that goes with calling yourself creative versus just being a good problem solver.
If you had the chance to live during a different artistic movement other than now, which one would it be?
That’s a good question! Maybe the one right before ours because I don’t love the constant use of technology in our lives. So maybe right before the Andy Warhol factory era, that might’ve been cool. That’s the generation of my mom so she’s lived through both. Maybe we should ask her! But then, the problem with the olden days is like everyone’s life expectancy was like 35, so you always have to put that into consideration when you’re picking on their artistic movements. I like the idea of the 70s when there was so much potential and enough technology to use to really progress, but not too much that it controls your life.
How does KidSuper work under the influence of your childhood and Spanish heritage?
When I was a child, as I said before, I was moving a lot but I also had very wild and free parents. So, in my younger days I was also very wild and you couldn’t control me. I remember being a child and being like ”today I have five friends and then the next day, I have six friends and by the time I turn 50 I’m gonna have 1 million friends” but then I always see older people and they have no friends. That, I couldn’t understand and so I told myself, when I grow up I’m never going to lose this “best feeling”. I try to keep that! I terms of my Spanish heritage, my moms from Spain and my dad’s from Ireland; I never really felt truly American. I felt as if I never belonged anywhere. I always like to reference Spanish artists, Spanish food and culture and everything. Having come from many different places means a lot to me.
What does it mean to you, personally as well as commercial, working together with Puma?
The reason I liked collaborating with Puma so much, might be different than what you think: In the bottom of my heart I checked off like 10 of my lifetime bucket list goals. I was on Times Square Billboard. I got my own official soccer cleats that were worn in the English Premier League. Neymar wore my clothes. The brand was sold all across the country and I got the chance to do a cartoon. I keep on forgetting about how many amazing things happened to me. Personally, it was just a huge bucket list check-off.
In terms of commercially, I think I gave everyone that that isn’t super familiar with the brand, a stamp of approval. People are “like oh this is a real brand because Puma is willing to invest so much money into it”. So commercially I think it may have legitimized the brand a little bit more. Although, on the personal side it was so much more even if we would´ve only sold a single shoe, and I got to do everything else, it would’ve all been so worth it.
Puma being your first major partnership, take us through the design process collaborating with puma and especially the influence of Hector Bellerín.
(Well, People should know one thing which is also pretty funny. You only get two days of meetings to design the entire collaboration and they have their own collaboration team. The team members are working and working and working and we were so excited, that KidSuper got this collaboration, that we thought we weren’t gonna do this in two days. We made sure we came super prepared and we brought over 50 designs to the first design meeting. They were kind of blown away because they weren’t expecting us to be so prepared.
In terms of working with Hector Bellerín… that’s just a dream come true for me. Me, as a huge fan and soccer player, everything about it was amazing. He was super relaxed and chilled. It was funny, we were talking as if we’re friends. It was cool to be at the same level as Hector, as someone I had watched on television for so long.
So, last question! Amazing work on your Spring 2021 Runway show. Give us some insight on the idea of creating a virtual stop-motion runway Barbie doll fashion show.
The reason I did that was because fashion shows went virtual and there was no real audience attending and I knew instantly I was going to do this Barbie doll fashion show stop motion. If you look at the history of KidSuper, I’ve done about seven stop motion projects, from films, to music videos, to just silly commercials. I’ve always wanted to translate that and I always loved to bring stop motion into the KidSuper world. For me it was a no-brainer and I also thought that it was the perfect moment for KidSuper to compete with all these big brands. I knew they were scrambling and this was a moment where budget didn’t matter. Designers didn’t have to rent out a palace in Paris and this time it was more based on ideas in whose idea was the best. I’ve said this many times before, but I think that was one of the best fashion shows of all time.
Thank you, Paul!
Author: Paul Herzip