Introducing AKID: A New Streetwear Brand for Kids
What do you when your kid is just too cool to wear the clothes in the baby section? You design your own- that’s what Ashleigh Dempster and Matt George did. The grown-ups behind AKID. The two parents are known influential trendsetters in the world of fashion and the arts. Their new children’s brand AKID bridges Ashleigh’s high-style fashion sense and Matt’s streetwear edginess into a tyke sized shoe that’s built for form, function, and fashion. Ashleigh co-founded The Society Global, a “virtual cultural club for the creative class” in 2006, and has successfully created and executed events in cities across the United States and Canada within the arts, entertainment, lifestyle and fashion industries. “I want to break away from the typical, but stay practical. I don’t want to fuss around with laces and want high quality products for approachable prices. And, I want my little men to look cool!”, says Ashleigh. And don’t we all? Matt who is one of Kanye West’s collaborators is a streetwear veteran so this parental collaboration is destined to grow as fast as your toddlers feet.
The two are are keeping the brand very family-focused with all of the collaborations, campaigns, models being the couple’s own family and friends. And each style of shoe is named after a child the couple knows personally.
We caught up with Ashleigh Dempster to find out more about AKID, motherhood, and the juggle of new business with little guys in tow.
What inspired you to create the AKID line?
As the parents of two children, we fell into it pretty naturally. I have always been a shoe addict and Matt has been in the business for a long time, so when it came to purchasing shoes for our first-born we noticed the gap in the marketplace. All AKID products are made specifically for children. Many brands take a popular adult silhouette and just make it smaller for children. 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.
We love the range of shoes you’ve come out with. Do you intend to do a full kids line including apparel and accessories?
The core of our business is footwear so for the moment that’s our focus. We do plan to launch a number of collaborations in the future that expand beyond that category though.
You are married and have two little ones together, and your brand is a new baby- what’s it like launching a new business together as a couple?
I have always worked with women in the past so it has been interesting, in a good way, working with a team of men with one being my husband. Dynamics are different- not better or worse- just different. When Matt and I agreed to partner on this project I wasn’t sure how it was going to unfold but so far so good. We talk about work during work hours and then leave everything at the door once we are home. Our roles in the company are very different which helps. Matt is the guru on the production/business side of things and I handle the rest. That’s not to say there hasn’t been and will continue to be some very heated conversations as we build the business!
My son says “clothes give you power”. What’s your hope for your little consumer- what would you want him or her to feel when dressed in your line?
The short answer is that we want kids to feel good (both style and comfort wise) and just simply rock our products. The more emotional answer is that we hope our shoes become the perfect accessory to any outfit, inspiring children to be confident in creating their own personal style.
There are many stylish ways to dress your little one; Why street wear?
We see our shoes as pretty versatile- whether your kids look is more preppy or street, you can pair them with anything. Our son rocked the leather high tops with a suit at a wedding two weekends ago and then wore them to the park with harem pants the next day- they really just compliment everything.
You’re obviously both über creatives who have their hands in many projects, how do you make time for it all? What’s your advice to new parents who are juggling life responsibilities, parenting, and personal passions?
Go easy on yourself!! It’s hard to juggle it all so do what you can and the rest will fall into place. I have to remind myself of this all the time.
Visit AKID for more information
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