Kids are about to dress better than all of us, and we can thank Ashleigh Dempster and Matt George for that. The young Los Angeles-based couple found inspiration from their two young boys, Jasper and Julian, and are on the eve of launching a children’s line called, AKID. The venture is “a carefully crafted collection of products for kids" whose primary focus is on children’s footwear with multiple collaborations and capsules on the way.
We sat down with the entrepreneurial couple to discuss how George's background in sneaker culture (he is, after all, the man behind streetwear emporiums Nomad, Stüssy in Toronto and Vancouver, multiple collaborations with adidas) and Dempster's aesthetics are set to launch a line that might just have children stunting on you.
The bio on AKID Brand's Instagram account is short, sweet, and the to point: "Product for kids with style." Can you expand on the concept of AKID? What types of products are we expected to see?
AKID is a carefully crafted collection of products for kids. The core of AKID is footwear, however, we have a number of collaborations and capsule collections in the works that span across a variety of sectors including clothing, magazines and accessories.
Parents are starting to dress their kids like their own mini mes. Will AKID's clothes be similar to some of the things adults might be able to see in their own wardrobes?
You hit the nail on the head. Everything that we produce for AKID could easily be found in our own closets. Most of our products are based off of those fashionable favorite basics that adults wear. We’re just making them available for kids.
Where do your design concepts come from for this brand? Do you focus on current trends and tie them into your kids line as well?
Our preference is to put out product based on what we like, not what the current trends are. The two of us find inspiration everywhere and are constantly collecting photos, fabric swatches, etc. for inspiration to incorporate into upcoming collections.
What types of shoes can we expect from AKID?
Most of the styles are basic (high-top, low-top, moccasin, etc), but with a twist. We use unique color combinations in stylish, yet durable fabrics. And we make our shoes fun with unexpected patterns and embellishments.
Children have more sensitive skin that adults. Given that, did you take certain materials into consideration?
Much time was spent making sure the product was built for sensitive skin. Children’s feet need to be able to sweat and breathe so you will find a lot of leather-lined or breathable material in our shoes. Kids can easily go barefoot in them. No need for socks when you have a well-designed, well-made shoe.
What can we expect the fit for AKID Brand to be like?
All AKID products are specifically for children. Many brands take an adult silhouette that is popular and just make it smaller. Our shoes are molded for a child’s developing feet. They will be comfortable and easy for us to get on and off with slip on low-tops and zippered high-tops.
What sizes and age group(s) do AKID cater to?
AKID is designed for children ages two to eight years old.
Who is your target audience?
Fashion conscious parents and stylish kids.
Why did you both decide to tackle a kid's line?
Being parents of two young boys, we really feel there is a gap in the marketplace for children’s footwear specifically. With Matt’s experience in the industry and my love for shoes and design in general, it was only a matter of time before the two of us teamed up to create a line for kids to help fill that void.
Being young entrepreneurs with two young children, what opportunities do you see in entering this marketplace? Where do you see it possibly going?
Having owned and operated our own business prior to AKID, we know firsthand how much time, dedication, and commitment it takes to get any project off the ground and be successful. We see a lot of opportunity for AKID, but really want to take it slow for now and do this the right way without sacrificing the quality of our products.
Where will AKID be available for purchase?
AKID products will be sold exclusivelyonline atakidbrand.com.
What is the price range like?
In general, $60-$80. However, we might have special collections or a higher price point on some shoes based on the materials, style, etc.
What upcoming fashion trends can we expect for kids? Are there trends adults can take from stylish children and incorporate into their own wardrobe?
Children’s clothing and accessories are becoming huge players in the fashion industry with parents spending more time and attention on what their little ones are wearing. The big difference though is that kids grow up so quickly so there is still more of a conscience when spending on what they wear. This is why we want to offer high-end quality for a palatable price point withAKID.
What's the future for AKID looking like?
Great products and exciting collaborations. That's all we can say for now!