The longstanding walls of the gated world of high fashion have begun to crumble over the last few years, and this transition is largely due to social media. There is perhaps no one who embodies this evolution more wonderfully than Colm Dillane aka KidSuper, whose kaleidoscopic designs have taken him to the largest stages in all of fashion. And throughout his progression, so much of Dillane's work has been anchored by social media, particularly Instagram, and the virality he has found with audiences globally. In celebration of Meta's It's Your World campaign—demonstrating how multi-hyphenates like Colm use the company's tech to make their work easier—we caught up with the designer to hear about his upcoming Paris Fashion Week show, a look he produced for NBA star Jordan Clarkson and the best thing about being a designer.
KidSuper's Colm Dillane Talks Paris Fashion Week, Meta and Working with Jordan Clarkson
At a packed event hosted by Meta, Colm and Coi Leray invited attendees into KidSuper's Brooklyn-based studio for a sneak peek into some of Coi's favorite things and a look produced for the NBA's Jordan Clarkson. After I embarked on a tour through the sprawling studio space, Colm returned downstairs to showcase the look and tell attendees: "I truly have—in the KidSuper world—actually developed crazily using [Meta's] products. There was one time I Instagram storied, 'I need a bull.' I called one of my first fashion shows, 'Bull in a China shop.' Very similar to what I am now, which is, I don’t know if I belong in the room, but I’m gonna break something. I Instagrammed 'Can I have a bull?' and within an hour and a half I was riding a bull in upstate New York. And I was like, 'Man, with Instagram, I can do anything.'"
In our conversation, he echoes this sentiment, talking about how he relies on Whatsapp for a lot of his international communication, and even tapped Joey Khamis to help design the footwear for his Jordan Clarkson look with the help of the Oculus.
The campaign he put together with Meta includes the process of designing a suit to be worn by NBA style icon Jordan Clarkson. When I asked him about his design process, he jokes about know how on the nose the look is: "He is obviously a basketball player, and I was trying to do like, 'Okay, what's a basketball iteration?' And we’re thinking very literal, but the weaving of a net is actually quite cool looking. So I put that over a suit."
Paris Fashion Week
"In true KidSuper fashion, I kind of have to change up the medium, which is a hilarious thing to get known for," Colm tells me when I ask him about the plans for the upcoming show. "I thought after I did my first one, which was a claymation show, I thought I was instantly gonna get kicked off. So once I not only didn't get kicked off, I got like, paraded, I was like, 'Alright, I'm gotta triple double down on this,'" he explains to me, adding: "So my next one's gonna be a play—kind of a cool, avant-garde, weird play."
All of Colm's unorthodox shows have been built around an ideological through-line, so I was curious to hear about the thinking for this presentation. "The concept is: ‘How to find an idea.' Everyone always would ask me like, 'Colm, where are the ideas come from?' And to me it felt pretty obvious. It was like answering questions or problem solving. But then I would try to think, okay, if I was gonna write a 10 step thing to come up with ideas, and then I started researching ideas and I was getting very bad answers, because no one really knows. There's people that are way too spiritual about it, which is very hard to translate into like actual action. So, [the show] is that concept," he tells me, before adding with a cheeky smile: "Still writing it."
As we begin to wrap up, I ask Colm what he loves most about his job, a question which he answers immediately: "I love the people I get to meet." He goes on to discuss the connectivity provided by clothing, joking with me, "Because you're not wearing any KidSuper, I know that you're not my friend. If you were wearing KidSuper. This is a conversation starter."
The event featured Colm and Coi Leray, and they chatted about potential collaborations live during the evening, which was another highlight for Colm: "I also like that fashion's a very easy medium to collaborate with people, not only in the fashion industry, but outside of it. Everyone wears clothes."
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