The 13 Year Old That's Up Next In Fashion
Antilabel is a brand that's been making waves out of the Bay Area with a young founder at the helm with a vision for unique garments and jewelry. We spoke with the founder Kai about his experience starting his first brand at age 11 to now finding success which has gained the attention of many of his older peers in the industry. In addition, spoke with Kai about his most recent collection, "Evolution", his endeavors experimenting with jewelry, and his plans to make Antilabel a go-to piece in everyone's closet.
Where are you from?
Kai: I’m from the Bay Area.
When did you start Antilabel?
Kai: I started it last July in 2018.
Where does the name come from?
Kai: My brand targets everyone. I want everyone to wear my clothes. Usually brands target certain people like Supreme targets skaters. So that’s why it’s called Antilabel, it’s against brands that don’t target everyone.
What made you want to target everyone with your brand?
Kai: It's kind of how Kanye West wanted everyone to wear his Yeezys. That’s why I wanted everyone to wear my clothes. That’s why I make it affordable for everyone.
On your Instagram it says Antilabel is a brand created by a 13 year old. Is that true?
Kai: Yeah I just turned 13. I started it when I was 12. I was 11 when I started my first brand but I just started this one when I was 12.
What made you want to start a clothing brand at 13?
Kai: For as long as I can remember I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur. When I was like 9 I had a business where I was selling rocks. My dream was to go on shark tank but they stopped doing it. I just wanted to start a brand. I honestly don’t know what made me want to start it but I’ve always tried to sell stuff.
Have you always been into art and fashion?
Kai: When I was about 9 I started getting into fashion. I haven't always been about it but my cousins and family have always been fashionable so they got me into it.
Talk about your latest collection “Evolve”. What was the inspiration behind it?
Kai: As you can see from my past pieces I’ve created most of them just said Antilabel on the front. Usually people are scared to change. I was really afraid to change. So with this collection I was stepping out of my comfort zone with everything I made. I was evolving.
What was the inspiration behind the orange “Take 3” hoodies you designed?
Kai: That was also stepping out of my comfort zone. I honestly made that piece in like 5 minutes. From my past pieces they just said Antiilabel so I wanted to step out of my comfort zone and see what I could do.
Was that a cut and sew piece or print?
Kai: It was printed. I’m gonna start getting into cut and sew this fall but that was screen printed.
What do you wanna do with cut and sew?
Kai: Basically I wanna make jeans with bandanas that I sew. I know how to sew I just haven't done it yet. I also wanna make split flannels and split hoodies.
What brands or brand owners to you look up to?
Kai: I look up to Jonah from Stay Baysd. I look up to Ian Connor from Sicko / Revenge. I also look up to Dylan from WWY and Tommy from Activity.
What made you want to design the “Culture” Antilabel T-shirts?
Kai: I was going through a phase in the clothing line where I was strictly making die hard Bay Area stuff. I just wanted to make something dedicated to the Bay Area since it’s where I’m from. I have a lot of love for that place.
How is the fashion scene in the Bay Area?
Kai: It’s okay. There’s not a lot of brands out there. There’s like 2 or 3 people out there that have a brand. All of us are different. There’s one called Stay Baysd, he’s dedicated to the Bay Area. There's another one called Visions Through Blessings, they’re kind of Lil skies / Playboi Carti rockstar clothing. Then there's me, which is Antilabel.
What made you design the Antilabel “Bolt” chain?
Kai: I forget the clothing brands name, you might've done an interview on them but they dropped jewelry and I thought it was super sick. I made a mockup of thunder bolt which is kind of an Ian Connor inspired symbol which I thought was sick. I sent the mockup to some people and we got it done. I don’t know a lot of people that do jewelry except for Hard Jewelry.
Do you plan on designing other jewelry in the future?
Kai: Maybe some different pieces but that's not really my main focus. I have a new piece coming out after this next drop. I might do more after but I’ll have to think about it.
Are there any other garments you plan to experiment with?
Kai: I definitely wanna do jean jackets and Dickies pants.
Are there any other brands you wanna work with?
Kai: There’s a brand called Ultimate, they’re an up and coming brand. The guy who runs it is near my age, I think he’s 14. We’re gonna be doing a collab here soon. There’s Flavors that I did the Scarface hoodie with, we have something coming end of summer. If I could do a collab with anyone it would be with North Korea Skate Team or Supreme.
What should we expect to see from Antilabel next?
Kai: Something crazy. It’s gonna sink everybody's battleship I can say that.
What do you want Antilabel to be?
Kai: I wanna change the game. Nowadays people are just starting a brand for money. I want to see everyone in my clothing. It’s impossible to have every single person in my clothing but I wanna see a lot of people. I want people to resell my stuff and I want there to be value in my clothing, I want it to be appreciated. I feel like Supreme isn’t valued but there’s a lot of money in it. Dylan’s clothing is valued since people resell it but it’s also appreciated. That’s where I wanna be.
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