Kiko Kostadinov Is London’s Master of Collabs – Here’s What You Need To Know
Photo by Jason Lloyd-Evans.
No one quite does a collaboration like Kiko Kostadinov. Here at Ten we always have our eyes peeled on his Instagram in anticipation of what’s coming next. And let’s just say we’re never disappointed. On the morning before Kiko Kostadinov’s second stand-alone womenswear show, we take a look back at a few of our favourite collabs, both past and present, to originate from the Bulgarian-born, London-based design maestro.
Back in 2013, the then Central Saint Martins student first appeared on our radar when he designed a limited edition capsule collection created in collaboration with SHOWstudio and legendary streetwear brand Stüssy. Kostadinov reworked classic Stüssy sweatshirts, looking to the early minimalist sculptures of Richard Serra and the typographic artworks of Lawrence Weiner for inspiration. The title for the collection of one of a kind pieces, Displacement was itself borrowed from the art book recording Weiner’s 1992 show at the Dia Centre for the Arts in New York. Two years later, Kostadinov reprised the collaboration to design Stüssy‘s 35th Anniversary collection, launched at London Fashion Week Men’s (FKA London Collections: Men) AW15. Reinvestigating and reworking the themes from Displacement across sweatshirts, hoodies and track-pants, Kiko explained: “The initial idea was just to fuck up the basic logo. It’s so bold and recognisable… even if you leave only the two dots, people will still probably know what it is.”
When a trainer you’ve designed is selected as one of Hypbeast’s favourite sneakers of the year, you know you’re doing something right. It was a seal of approval awarded by Hypebeast’s senior editor Ambrose Leung, who selected Kiko Kostadinov x ASICS GEL-BURZ 1 as his pick for the best trainers 2018 had to offer. Kostadinov debuted his long-anticipated first collaboration with the Japanese performance-wear brand back in November 2017 with a trio of chunky running shoes in black, battery acid yellow and neutral tones; the perfect antidote to the oversized dad trainers movement sweeping the catwalks. The trainers were carefully designed to mirror the colour palette of the collection. Since then, the collaboration has moved into it’s fourth iteration and his trainers remain a permanent fixture on our wish lists.
Grown out of the Know-Wave radio show Affix Works, AFFIX is the brand offering a fresh take on utility wear. Launched last January at Dover Street Market London, the London-based label is the collaborative project/studio of stylist and creative consultant Stephen Mann, Gimme Five founder Michael Kopelman, fellow designer and Saint Martin’s alumni Taro Ray and, of course, Kiko Kostadinov. Branded as “New Utility”, functionality and modernism were at the fore of their workwear-inspired first collection. Stay tuned to the @affixworks Instagram for what’s to come.
Those in the know will know Katsuya Kamo of Kamo Head’s work from the Comme des Garçons, Undercover and Junya Watanabe shows, which he has been directing the hair and makeup for since the mid-90s. If not you’d definitely recognise his work with Karl Lagerfeld on the Fendi and the Chanel Haute Couture shows, or a multitude of your favourite campaigns. For his AW18 collection, Obscured by Clouds, Kostadinov tapped the legendary artist to create the most hair-raisingly ethereal, flower infused hair styles on his womenswear looks, whilst his menswear models wore a Ken-like mop of peroxide-blonde curls. For Spring 2019, Kamo created futuristically folk coiled head and hairpeices, adorned with fishing weights. The collaboration continued for a third season at his latest menswear show in January with a series of dramatically theatrical wigs of black lengths populated with strings of glimmering beads.
Photo by Jason Lloyd-Evans.
Following from his debut Together collaboration with Camper last year, which made it’s first appearance at his AW18 menswear show last January, Kostadinov has just dropped his second collab with the Spanish footwear company. The first collaboration explored the concept of the “new outdoors”, digging through the brand’s archives and reimagining Camper’s classic Teix trekking boot. Playing with functionality and design, using Gore-Tex for a chunky urban take on a hiking boot. Kostadinov’s newly released second collaboration with Camper brought all our school shoe dreams back to life. Continuing to investigate the same concepts and a trekking-inspired silhouette, the result is two lace up and three velcro-strapped chunky soled shoes captured in a collage-like campaign by New York-based artist Eric N. Mack. Sensible and stylish, maybe even our Mum’s would have approved.
Last season Kiko Kostadinov introduced his first womenswear offering and the ‘asynergistic counterpart’ to his menswear line, overseen by twins and newly graduated Central Saint Martin’s peers Laura and Deanna Fanning. On their feet the models wore a series of multi-coloured boots and shoes, fuelling all our sci-fi fantasies created in collaboration with Camper. We can only hope that there’s more in store today…