Jake Sibley is not just a freshman econ major from New York, but a young influencer in the fashion industry. At 18, him and friend Carlo Bernstein started their first pop-up clothing store in the Bowery, born from an idea the two had at 2 am: “Carlo now goes to University of Texas Austin and he brought up the idea [last year] that there are probably not many super cool clothing stores that fit our aesthetic in Texas. I asked Carlo if I was crazy or if we could actually start a New York pop-up over the summer, and he said you’re not crazy, we can do it.”
In winter of 2019, Sibley interned for Dylan Granger, the creative director and founder of Rideau, after being introduced by a mutual friend. From Granger, Sibley met designers such as Alexander Digenoua, Sage Hollywood, Rye Decker, Martine Ali, and Ant(i), who, alongside Rideau, became the featured labels of KIDS: “After countless phone calls, texts and emails, we ended up with designers we could not be more honored to stock and represent the KIDS aesthetic.”
After finding a leasing ad for 213 Bowery after weeks of online searching, they set to work designing an interior to perfectly mirror their aesthetic. Every inch and detail required extreme diligence, but they were operating on a tight budget. So, they got creative by smashing a mirror, diving on furniture, using dark-stained steel clothing racks, and an oritental rug, with black-and-white prints on the walls. But the centerpiece was an all-black drum set labeled ‘KIDS’ in bold, white letters. KIDS New York opened on July 18, 2019-August 12, 2019.
Inspired by their skater-punk style and their favorite movie, Kids, the pop-up shop shed light on underground streetwear. All prices were predetermined by designers, with a popular piece being the mint Digenova long sleeve reading “GLAM NIGHT” in black across the chest. It perfectly represents the KIDS brand: glam in a new and modern era.
KIDS taught the two more about business than they anticipated. Between filing for taxes and creating endless spreadsheets, their biggest challenge was predicting stock. “We didn’t know how many people would walk through the doors, what items they would buy more frequently than others, so we just did our best [at stocking the store] based on our own personal styles.”
Knowing some clientele were unable to make it to the Bowery, they launched a website to reach customers. “Setting up the website was difficult because most big brands pay someone to make it for them, but we didn’t have the budget to do that, so we had to do that ourselves. Getting all the products shot and taking inventory took time but I was happy to do so.”
Stylistically, they learned to keep pushing their limits: Bernstein and Sibley experimented with their style day-to-day by trying on every KIDS piece with their current outfits. “You can discover a lot about yourself by continuously trying new things.” However, the biggest lesson Sibley grasped from KIDS’ three weeks was that the fashion industry is all about learning from mistakes. Designers create and work with a plethora of brands before they nail it, building off their previous mistakes; indeed, Sibley is committed to learning from the dos and don’ts of KIDS in order to project into his future in the world of fashion. Stay tuned.
What was the last emoji you used?
Chrome Hearts, Vetements, or Off White?
How much time do you spend a day on instagram?
If you could have dinner with one person, living or dead, who would it be?
Favorite website to buy clothes from?
Thoughts on Barneys closing?
If you told me four years ago that it was going to close, I wouldn’t have been surprised.
If you had to wear one piece in your closet for the rest of your life, what would it be?
My grandpa’s watch.