It’s the perfect time to start planning your vacation wardrobe – and we’ve got just the thing.
Kiki: The Brand is the sustainable, hand-made label producing one of a kind sets for every occasion. Whether it’s a day at the beach, ocean-side drinks with friends or keeping it casual and coordinated during a day of retail therapy, Kiki has got your wardrobe for this summer covered.
Founder Kia Davis first began advertising her crop and short sets via her social media, thrifting oversized men’s shirts and sweaters and transforming them into must-have matching sets. Having caught the attention of Twitter with her pieces, she began receiving hundreds of mentions and messages from followers looking to send in their own baggy, pre-loved clothing for a unique summer makeover.
Having amassed thousands of followers thanks to the designs and with happy customers routinely posting photographs of themselves in their matching sets, it seemed that demand was only going to grow.
Looking to branch out with her designs, Kia began producing different styles of clothing – vibrant halterneck tops, mini skirts, minidresses and one-of-a-kind swimwear sets. With these new ranges, Kia’s was slowly but consistently seeing more and more demand for her work every month – then Bella Hadid was pictured wearing one of her sets in September 2018 and things got a whole lot bigger.
For fans of Bella’s, it was unusual to see someone in her position within the fashion world supporting a small, hand-made brand – now everyone wanted in.
Kia was still producing all the items herself, spending weeks working on new collections, only for the pieces to sell out within minutes of being made available on the site. Demand was high, but Kia was determined that the Kiki brand would remain faithful to the sustainability and exclusivity offered by each item being handmade by her.
However, this meant that Kia’s designs were seen as an easy target for fast fashion companies across the internet – it wasn’t long before designs that had been made available on Kia’s website started showing up on fast fashion sites such as Fashion Nova, lower in quality and mass-produced.
For Kia, it was disheartening, but as a one-woman operation, she felt that there was little she could do to stop it. In the end, she decided to simply let her followers know about this problem and then carry on with business as usual.
Fortunately, we live in times where sustainability is at the forefront of everyone’s minds, as well as the importance of supporting independent creators over corporations producing lower-price, lower-quality clothing. What Kia was offering was one-of-a-kind and put a fun new twist on the sense of individuality offered by picking up vintage clothing, so demand for her original designs remained high. She says that this sort of intellectual property theft only motivates her to work harder.
However, one thing that the Fashion Nova problem highlighted was that Kia’s designs were certainly popular enough for her to begin growing the brand.
Kia rebranded her project (its former name being Kiki’s Kinis) into the Kiki: The Brand label that we know today, adding to her team and setting up an official sales website, where she currently offers swimsuit sets, tops, skirts, lingerie and branded tote bags, all of which she regularly updates.
However, it’s clear that she doesn’t want to turn her back on the way that the brand started out just yet – each piece is still beautifully handmade by Kia herself.
Whilst this does mean that Kiki items are often a little more difficult to get hold of, it also adds to the feeling of exclusivity that comes with wearing one of Kia’s designs.
It’s clear that Kiki: The Brand is here to stay and is only going to grow in popularity, so we’d certainly advise picking up a vibrant Kiki swim set ahead of your summer vacation this year!
FYI, Kia has announced that a new drop will be added to the site on June 4th, describing that the new pieces are ‘it girl summer essentials’ that ‘scream nostalgia’ – set your alarms, everyone!