October marks the start of Black History Month in the UK, and it’s a pretty big deal here at KLEKT. Sneaker culture and black culture go hand-in-hand with the very foundations of the industry built on the influences of black sporting, music and fashion culture. It can’t be ignored.
At KLEKT, we want to build a team and culture that mirrors the diverse world we live in; representing, championing, and supporting POC voices and talent is incredibly important to everything we do and stand for as a brand. So, we have delved into our own ranks and spoken to some of our amazing employees, from marketing to authentication, about their passion for sneakers and whether they believe brands are doing enough to promote diversity. So pull up a chair and let’s get started!
How would you describe your personal style, and what are you currently wearing on your feet?
To be honest I don’t have a style cause If I see something I like I’ll get it and rock it, to me it’s not the fit that makes the drip. But as of recently I’ve mainly been wearing quite baggy oversized clothing just cause that’s comfy and warm in this bipolar weather, usually pair up comfy fit with some dunks, AJ1’s or 700’s. – Nathan Blackman, Product Executive, KLEKT
I would describe my personal style as cosy, sexy, cool and I’m currently working from home so i’m wearing my Yeezy Slides. – Lynnie Zonzolo, Influencer Management, KLEKT
Fashionably comfortable – I dress according to my mood, not too much thought into it but always a great jacket and shoes. Currently, I have on Dunk Low Retro Black White – Chloe Sintim, CRM Manager, KLEKT
Who have been your biggest influences in the sneaker and streetwear industry and why?
My biggest influence? Well if I had to pick it would be Kanye and my peopledem know that, he’s just been one of the most outlandish i’ve seen whilst growing up. Cause it was like – Then Kanye dropped, it was polos and backpacks, man that was when Ethan was pushin’ a Subaru hatchback so these times I was trying to wear Ralph Lauren in my young days not that I’d get it but a kid can dream right? Either way the fashion he introduced to the world caught my eye and I try to adopt it into my own fashion sense and make it mine. He’s the coolest in my eyes and I don’t expect many to understand that but you can just respect it.- To be honest I don’t have a style cause If I see something I like I’ll get it and rock it, to me it’s not the fit that makes the drip. But as of recently I’ve mainly been wearing quite baggy oversized clothing just cause that’s comfy and warm in this bipolar weather, usually pair up comfy fit with some dunks, AJ1’s or 700’s. – Nathan Blackman, Product Executive, KLEKT
TLC, Aaliyah, Missy Elliot and Teyana Taylor. All these amazing black queens have an everlasting impact for generations to come, they helped me become comfortable in my style. The sneakers, the baggy clothes, the tomboys… these ladies did that for me! I hope to do the same for the next generation. – Lynnie Zonzolo, Influencer Management, KLEKT
Teyana Taylor as a female sneakerhead always gets fashionably comfortable right. Whether it’s oversized fits or sultry and fitted, her sneaker collection is high key insane! (I don’t know why we’re not besties yet lol). – Chloe Sintim, CRM Manager, KLEKT
What has been your favourite collaboration of all time? (Mean I know!)
My favourite collaboration? Well for a sneakerhead I can’t imagine this is the easiest question, but for me I can say the College Dropout Bapesta’s. The design is based on Kanye’s debut album The College Dropout which is an all time favourite which shouldn’t be no surprise now lool. – Nathan Blackman, Product Executive, KLEKT
I have two,
- Kanye West x A Bathin Ape Bapesta “College Dropout”
- Off White x Nike “The Ten” – Lynnie Zonzolo, Influencer Management, KLEKT
Air Jordan WMNS 3 Retro A Ma Maniere – The raised by women story makes it so special (Bonus) Air Jordan WMNS x Off-White 4 ‘Sail’ – Just timelessly gorgeous isn’t it! – Chloe Sintim, CRM Manager, KLEKT
Do you think brands are doing enough to promote and champion diversity?
I think that brands are only now scratching the surface when it comes to diversity but instead of taking baby steps with it to me they’re kind of leaping with the steps and making very bold statements like hey world we’re a big brand and we are all about diversity and equality. I feel like there’s no need to scream out loud to prove a point but just let it naturally show in the work they do and the products they produce. Bars. – Nathan Blackman, Product Executive, KLEKT
Some do exceptionally well, some don’t. – Lynnie Zonzolo, Influencer Management, KLEKT
I think diversity especially black culture is used to sell brands and align themselves as ‘cool’ or ‘relevant’ but time and time again behind the curtains this is not represented or supported. There’s a lot more to be done and it’s really up to companies to make a conscious effort to create/participate/encourage the shift. – Chloe Sintim, CRM Manager, KLEKT
If you could give your younger self (and whoever might be reading this) one piece of advice what would it be?
If I could give my younger self advice I’d probably say make as many friends as possible, let them show you parts of life that you can’t see through your own eyes and plus good times & cozy vibes right? That’s all we want. – Nathan Blackman, Product Executive, KLEKT
Relax, feel the breeze and smell the roses, believe in yourself and everything will fall into place. – Lynnie Zonzolo, Influencer Management, KLEKT
Monitise on your talents ASAP and make the most of every opportunity; you’ve been blessed for a reason darling! – Chloe Sintim, CRM Manager, KLEKT