Kristopher Kites is a 20-year-old jewelry designer and artist preserving childhood figurines in plastic neckwear. It’s a certain kind of nostalgic taxidermy, where Kites encases comic book characters in translucent pendants and strings them on thick, molded chains. The result is enchanting—a blend of innocent cartoons and hip-hop bling reminiscent of LL Cool J and Run-DMC.
Listed on ifakemakeclothes.com and Kites’ Instagram page, the pieces retail for an average of a few hundred dollars. They’ve been spotted on J Balvin, Jonathan "Foodgod" Cheban, Don C, Ben Baller and more. LeBron James rocked one of Kites’ tees in September.
After a chance encounter in an airport, Tyler Schmitt, the right-hand man to Gary Vaynerchuk, invited Kites to the ONE37pm office in New York City to chop it up. Joined by Nick Bullen, a vital member of VaynerMedia, and ONE37pm’s Style Editor Madison Russell, the entrepreneur revealed details from his past, how he creates his pieces and what’s on the horizon.