KidSuper is a streetwear brand and creative studio based out of Brooklyn, New York under the creative direction of its founder, Colm Dillane.
This brand is known for its eccentric clothing designs as well as for delving into other artistic endeavors such as art, videos, and music. The ethos of this brand is built on the desire to dream and to rekindle the curiosity and energy of being a kid.
This comes from childhood memories where you dressed up as a superhero and you were convinced you had special powers. No one could ever stop you.
KidSuper wants to build on this energy and to explore the inner child among all of us that is filled with creativity and the need for adventure. As a dedicated supporter of the brand, I will try to give an accurate account of the history and ethos of KidSuper.
The History of KidSuper
In order to understand the history of KidSuper’s fashion, we must delve into the life of its founder, Colm Dillane. Colm was born in Wisconsin and spent his childhood playing soccer and running through the outdoors. His mother was a Spanish artist and would often encourage him to paint. This encouragement led him to develop a curiosity for art and boosted his overall creativity.
When he turned 12, Colm’s family moved to New York, and eventually ended up going to Brooklyn Tech where he studied painting and the arts. While living in New York, Colm noticed how his classmates were very passionate about clothes and fashion.
At the time, New York was a hotspot for T-shirt design companies. Everyone in the city was into brands like BAPE and Supreme. The streetwear scene paired with his background in painting and the arts inspired Colm to make his own clothing brand.
Colm paired up with a few of his high school friends and started a company that printed pizza-themed T-shirts. He named the brand Brick Oven T-Shirts, or BOTS. They would gift these clothes to their classmates and often tried to get local shops to carry their brand.
Store owners were obsessed with the popular brands and didn’t pay Colm any mind. This brand eventually dissolved after he graduated high school and his business partners split up.
Having this experience of building a clothing band drove Colm to keep pushing for his dreams. Colm went to New York University (NYU) in pursuit of a math degree. Here, he met his best friend’s roommate Danny, who was a creative in the video game website space. Danny worked with Colm to build KidSuper. They started by printing the KidSuper logo on hats, T-shirt, and a long sleeve shirt. All of this was done out of their NYU dorm room.
When asked about starting this brand, Colm says that his mindset was that of a little kid, one that believed he could do anything. He was determined to learn the business by himself and work a thousand times harder than everyone else in the industry.
Colm decorated and spray-painted his dorm room so that he could convert it into a shop where he could sell his KidSuper clothing. He started selling these clothes to undergraduate students at NYU and started to gain a buzz amongst the university.
One of the people that stumbled into Colm’s dorm room was the rapper Mac Miller. They quickly developed a friendship and Mac became an avid supporter of the brand. He even wore one of the KidSuper hats for an album cover. Other musicians and artists around New York City began noticing Colm and KidSuper and began supporting the brand. They would wear his clothing in music videos and photo opportunities. KidSuper started gaining popularity outside of New York and spread all across the country.
After getting his math degree at NYU, Colm dedicated his life to KidSuper. He moved his clothing operations to an actual shop. He found a place where he could live and also be functioning as a storefront. Colm eventually found a run down place in Brooklyn and began working on turning it into a multipurpose space. He wanted to continue his clothing brand while also facilitating his passion for painting and art.
The mixture of Colm’s passionate energy and interesting clothing designs, KidSuper has now evolved into one of the most popular and promising streetwear brands in the world. KidSuper has been worn by some of the most popular people in the world, such as Lil Nas X and Bad Bunny. KidSuper has also collaborated with Puma on their own soccer/football shoe which was worn by some players in the Premier League. Colm Dillane has also recently won the Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy (LVMH) Karl Lagerfeld Prize. This is a highly prestigious award given to the most promising creatives.
KidSuper has also stayed true to its word by continuing to delve into other artistic spaces such as music and painting. Colm himself worked to help produce rapper Russ’s album, which eventually became a platinum record. He also designed the album cover for this project. Recently, KidSuper has also put together an art installation at Art Basel in Miami.
KidSuper and the Art Industry
The KidSuper brand is ever-expanding and is showing lots of promise in the streetwear industry. But, Colm Dillane has now set his sights on his first childhood passion: art and painting. Growing up, he viewed clothing as a way to enter the art industry. No one is going to buy a painting made by a 15-year-old, but anyone would buy a $15 shirt in New York City.
Colm utilized his clothing brand to strengthen his artistic chops. Every piece of clothing sold by KidSuper is designed by Colm himself and features artwork he made. KidSuper’s success in fashion allowed him to enter the art industry. Making clothes got his foot in the door and secured him as a serious artistic designer.
KidSuper knows that to be a major player in the art world, they have to gain the respect of the art world. Colm Dillane has quietly been working on his art career. He has hosted several of his own shows that displayed his art gallery, which was widely popular and attended by fans of KidSuper and New York streetwear community.
These events were mostly spur of the moment and independent from any established art gallery, since it is very difficult to gain meaningful connections in the art gallery world. He has even sold a painting in South Korea for $20,000. Dillane now feels more validated as an artistic designer, giving him more confidence to pursue the art industry.
Colm admits that the art industry is very competitive and hard to get into. Just like the fashion industry, getting into art requires long hours, connections, a dedicated work ethic, and sometimes, a little bit of luck in order to become successful.
He is also aware that he has grown as a person and designer in order to be successful. He has cited the late Virgil Abloh as an inspiration for his current progression in design. Virgil was constantly evolving and growing as a person as well as contributing that same energy to his brand and artistic projects. Colm looks to carry that same energy within himself. His painting style is whimsical but a lot more serious than his clothing designs. He also admits that he needs to create more consistency and routinely release new paintings. He realizes that he doesn’t have the same connections in art that he does in fashion, and that he has to gain the respect of the art industry with meaningful and innovative artwork.
KidSuper is a very unique and upcoming streetwear brand that has very humble beginnings from the dorm rooms and streets of Brooklyn, New York. With interesting and outside-the-box clothing designs meshed with principles of painting and art, KidSuper holds a very unique niche in the streetwear industry.
Through its clothing collections and the energy of its founder, Colm Dillane, KidSuper does a beautiful job of carrying on its ethos of childhood wonder and dreaming to achieve the impossible.
With strong support from the streetwear community and important influencers, KidSuper is destined for more success and longevity in the fashion industry. KidSuper and Colm Dillane is also beginning to work its way into the fine art industry and shows lots of promise.
If Colm can replicate the same energy and extreme work ethic that he contributed to his fashion line, KidSuper is destined to succeed in fine art as well.