Strongly influenced by Surf, Skate and Street culture, is Australian clothing label King of Nothing. The label represents apparel you can work, paint, skate, date, and create in. They have a virtue of following your dreams and freedom both visually and verbally, but feel all in all, good honest fun and love is what KON is about stating, "shit, life’s too short to not enjoy it."
Originally coming from street art to fashion was an easy transition for KON director Jimmy Baxter as he has always been a very visually driven person. "Seeing something you painted the night before on way to school is a pretty dope way to start the day. So having KON is my way of still getting up, just on Tees instead of walls, and it's never going to get buffed" he said.
Being a fashion designer was never the plan for Jimmy who wanted to be a number of things growing up, none of which had anything to do with fashion. While he still doesn't consider himself a fashion designer, fate would have a different idea. He explains, "I just wanted to start putting my own designs and mate’s artwork and photography on Tees so we could be rocking something original that not many other people had. Also it's classic seeing someone reppin’ a photo of my Dad skating Albany snake run in the 70’s on their Tee."
Jimmy views the best thing about KON as all the creative and talented people he has met along the way, some of which he now calls close friends. "It's dope watching the family grow along with the brand, taking influence from each other as both constantly evolve. Loving what you do for a job is a plus when it comes to enjoying life and running KON ticks that box. The free clothes deal is pretty sweet too, there’s no better feeling than rocking fresh threads straight off the rack" he explained.
Having successfully started an online business and fashion label for a few years, Jimmy has some advice for those looking to do the same. First and foremost, he believes if you don’t love it don’t do it stating, "it’s a pretty competitive and cut throat industry especially in Australia, not to mention if you are going to seek overseas production in places such as Bali or Thailand, so do your research and don’t go running in guns blazing or you’ll get smoked." Additionally, he knows from experience that it won’t happen overnight, you got to nurture it in order to watch it grow, and if you do it for the right reasons you will create something fresh. Finally, he states "people are going to hate on whatever your doing and say this and that, but the fact their taking time out of their lives to diss on it means it must be worth talking about, so cheers for the free advertising."
Although KON may be considered a part of the Australian fashion scene, Jimmy tries to keep his distance, rather than entrenching himself in the thick of it. While he gives props to the Australian fashion designers blowing up doing well, he doesn't want to be dictated to by the market. "I think it’s a great talent to be able to keep on top of the latest trend and design/produce clothing that popular culture consumers snap up in a flash, but if you let trends dictate the direction of your label, then we just end up with heaps of the same shit which is pretty boring. I never want to find myself sacrificing creative vision for the dollar bills. I’d rather sell less, keep the love and keep it real" he explained.
KON's future plans are simple; they plan to keep doing what they're doing. There are works in progress KON VS THUNDAMENTALS that will see the release of some limited edition Tee’s and garments throughout the year, which Jimmy is pretty excited about. They are also working with Against the Grain Carpentry on a unique exhibition concept, which will come to fruition in the near future and also have some projects with Melbourne based creative Eleven, Sydney Artist/Musician Glenn Smith, as well as the usual KON suspects in the pipeline for winter apparel prints.
Jimmy gives mad props to all the extended KON Crew and Family for getting down and representing what they love while chasing the dream. Also, to all the crew out there who have supported him by running KON apparel and spreading the word. The search for nothing continues!