Q&A with Kevin Adom of Kingdom Reside
Kingdom Reside, a small London-based brand founded by 23 year-old Kevin Adom is an under-rated label. Adom designs pieces that are not only refreshingly on-trend, but unisex too.
1. What is your career background?
I’m currently the Social Media Executive for the global fashion search platform - Lyst. Before that, I studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Westminster University. While that was happening, I was also interning at Nike and Converse. Safe to say, I like to dabble in lots of things - I'm always looking for new opportunities to flex my creative muscles one way or another.
2. What's the background of your brand, what got it started?
The idea to start Kingdom came when I was 16. I was working on a school project really late every night (we had to design a magazine cover). I didn’t even know I had such a love for design until then. I obsessed over every single detail. The font, spacing and colour palette. After that was done, I had an urge to still create and have my designs noticed by everyone. My interest in fashion began to peak around that time too, so I figured the best thing to do was design a small line of T-shirts. I’d wear them to class and people asked where I got them from. It was such a great feeling to say "I made this". To this day, I still get really excited any chance I get to say those 3 words.
3. Why handmade? Who makes your clothes and how?
After my screen-print T-shirt stint, I really wanted to push myself and start making ‘real clothes’. One of the main reasons I decided to do handmade honestly was because I couldn’t afford to go into mass production yet. Handmade pieces was a great way to keep the costs low and really learn on the job. In terms of who makes my clothes, it’s a mix between my mum and I (she’s worked on the design team for Celine and Alexander McQueen) and a small manufacturer out in Wembley.
4. What ethical and sustainable practices do you incorporate in your brand?
I’m never concerned about paying the extra bit of money on fabrics if it means I’m not buying mass manufactured items. There’s a handful of fabric stores I go to in Soho I visit which do a great job of that.
5. How do your collections work? Do you design them seasonally?
I try to get out at least two collections a year. It’s tough balancing it with everything I do at Lyst however. I design nearly every day, my laptop is honestly full of concepts and sketches. but there are very few times the whole world gets to see it. I change my mind about the designs I create very frequently.
6. What materials do you work with predominantly?
I don't think there’s one fabric I love more than another, that’s like asking a parent who’s their favorite child! I do want to work with satin soon though. I’ve got a really cool idea for it. So right now it’s all about satin.
7. What is the aesthetic of Kingdom Reside?
Whatever I think is cool. One minute I’m designing a pastel pink flight jacket, the next I’m adding the finishing touches to a pair of plaid cargo pants. As creatives, we have the artistic freedom to change our minds at any given moment, I’ll make the most of that every chance I get.
8. What's in store for the future?
Still designing. By the time this is out, I should have launched a new conceptual design collection titled ‘Archives’. Fashion tends to take itself too seriously, I’m kind of poking fun at it with this by making ‘literal clothing’. It should be a fun project - I hope people like it.