VMAN43: King Kiko

Since teaming up with Asics, Kiko Kostadinov’s workwear-influenced, London-based label has sprung to new heights.

This article appears in the pages of VMAN 43: Overdrive, available for purchase now at vmagazine.myshopify.com.

London Calling

Born in Bulgaria to a housekeeper mom and construction worker dad, designer Kiko Kostadinov’s ascension within London fashion was a feat of self-propulsion. But his eponymous brand has since been rewarded for its collaborative ethos. In the wake of launching an ongiong collaboration with Asics, recently shot and modeled by Juergen Teller in an accompanying campaign, he and his close-knit team received double nominations at the 2019 British Fashion Council Fashion Awards: Kostadinov in the Menswear category, and sister co-designers Laura and Deanna Fanning for Womenswear.

Here, Kostadinov tells us how he turned a penchant for shopping into a spring-loaded fashion brand.

Kiko Kostadinov and his team at the Kiko Kostadinov headquarters in Wood Green, London, 2019

VMAN When did you know you wanted to become a designer?

Kiko Kostadinov [I didn’t know] until I was about to finish [high school] and needed to apply for university. I didn’t want to study something boring and, I thought, I like shopping, dressing up, and putting outfits together! So I thought, maybe I can try [to capitalize] on that.

VMAN Was there a moment you knew you’d “made it” as a designer?

KK There are many different [definitions] for “making it.” I’d rather not think in that way; I just want to keep doing what I like doing, and hope that it will [resonate] with people.

VMAN How did your ongoing collaboration with Asics come about?

KK They approached me with a rough idea after [seeing] my graduate collection. It has been slowly growing in scale ever since.

VMAN How would you describe the environment at Kiko headquarters?

KK Always busy with multiple projects floating around and overlapping. Stressful in some capacity, but also very inspiring.

VMAN What tagline would you give the Kiko Kostadinov brand?

KK I think taglines are unnecessary, and can sometimes be pretentious. I prefer to allow the consumer to form their own genuine opinion, so that the brand means something to them personally.

From left to right (this spread): Daiki Fujita, Deanna Fanning, Aitor Martinez, Laura Fanning, Kiko Kostadinov, Paride Calvia, Kai Ninagawa
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