Friend's Don't Let Friend's Wear Skinny Jeans...
Kikwear, Inc. was born in 1991 and debuted a clothing line in 1992 that was basic, yet edgy. It consisted of screen t's, bb caps, hoodies, shorts, and of course pants. The company initially made its mark with a company icon named Chucky. He was a Rasta type character designed by the famous NY graffiti artist Doze Green. We plastered that character on everything which gave Kikwear its first identity out there in the clothing arena.
In 1993, one of our key accounts in San Francisco asked us to make them a 23" bottom for their store because the Rave scene was beginning to emerge in Northern California and the kids were walking into the store with their homemade "wide leg" pants. We moved on this tip and sure enough those denim pant sold out immediately! We quickly realized that this Rave Movement was starting to come on strong throughout Southern California and we started launching wider leg pants known today as "phatties."
By the mid '90s, Kikwear had a national following for phatties that consisted of pants as wide as 69" and it didn't take long for us to be known nationally for this category, but what set us apart from the rest of the market was our "K" that became as famous as our pant offering itself. By the mid '90s, Kikwear which was a young men's line realized that a lot of our customers were girls. In 1995, Kikwear, Inc. launched its sister brand Kikgirl that initially took the top 4-5 Kikwear pants and scaled then down in a girl's fit. The Kikgirl brand took a key component from the Kikwear play book and put our various "K" embroideries on the back right pocket just like the guy's brand.
Throughout the '90s, Kikwear and Kikgirl developed both pant lines that now had a major following in the exploding Rave scene all over the USA, Canada, and Europe. When a raver wanted to hit the party circuit, they weren't leaving their home without a pair of Kiks. We catered our pants to their exact needs as some of the styles had cell phone and water bottle pockets. Others had stash pockets as an added feature. By the late '90s, Kikwear and Kikgirl had a huge range of phatties out there on the market in every leg opening from 23-69" and in multiple fabrics from denims to nylons with reflective piping.
Of course, with any fashion trend there's a time span for it. By 2002, we noticed a severe slowdown in sales because our core loyal retailers simply stopped buying our brands as the Rave scene came crashing down. The parties dried up quickly and our specialized wide leg pant offering was no longer in demand. So the company took that cue and began slowly exiting a dying scene.
For the past 10 years or so, Kikwear hung around by selling its brand to some very loyal retailers who decided not to abandon their assortment of wide leg pants and still wanted Kikwear. While we were continuing to field orders for our men's brand and also selling it on our Kikwear.com website, we ceased production of Kikgirl except for a random style here and there.
Just like with most fashion cycles, in 2012 there were rumblings of a resurgence in the need for phatties again. Why you ask? Well, the Rave and EDM scene came back and stronger than ever. While the music and dance elements were growing once again, there wasn't a core brand left to produce the gear that the kids desperately wanted again. It didn't take long for old skool Kikwear and Kikgirl pants to start showing up on the party circuit in addition to a massive amount of home made wide legs. This was one of the first signs back in the '90s that kids were asking for some clothing company to step up and make the gear they wanted to wear for their parties. Once again, a light bulb went off at the Kikwear HQ in Los Angeles. With the help of social media such as Facebook and Tumblr, it became quite obvious that Kikwear had an opening to re-emerge as a brand and soon thereafter announced that they were going to re-launch a small range of old skool phatties combined with some brand new styles ranging from 23-69" leg openings. Word spread like a wild fire that we were in fact coming back to the scene that made us a household name.
In 2013, the company has plans to expand the Kikwear brand as it gauges what's hot in the Rave and EDM party scene. We plan to expand the initial offering of denims and poly cotton poplin fabrics with new styles and categories such as shorts and possibly accessories. Another exciting company development is the planned re-launch of Kikgirl in the Spring or Summer.
As the Rave and EDM movement continues its global surge, it's a good bet that Kikwear, Inc. will be right there following it closely to ensure that it's core phatties develop right along with it.