We sit down with the creative trailblazer Colm Dillane to talk being a multitalent, untapped creative endeavours, and the evolution of his artistry.

Colm Dillane is a force to be reckoned with in the fashion world. With a unique blend of streetwear and high fashion, Dillane has taken the industry by storm with his innovative designs and captivating style. Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Dillane’s passion for fashion began at a young age. He started creating his own clothes and experimenting with different styles, quickly realizing that he had a talent for design. After attending Parsons School of Design in New York City, Dillane launched his own brand, KidSuper, in 2010.

KidSuper quickly gained a cult following thanks to Dillane’s bold and imaginative design prowess. Wielding collaborations with major brands like Puma and Champion, and even designing outfits for celebrities like Jay-Z and Justin Bieber – Dillane is not one to play with. What sets the multi-talent apart from other designers are his playful and irreverent designs, with unexpected details from oversized pockets to whimsical prints. He isn’t afraid to take risks, and his collections are always full of surprises.

Dillane’s creativity has been lapped up by established houses and labels – most recently exemplified with the Louis Vuiton Men’s Fall Winter 2023 show. Borrowing his skills as a guest designer, helped to carry the thread of the late Virgil Abloh.

With his unique perspective and undeniable talent, Colm Dillane is a designer on everybody’s radar. He’s redefining what it means to be a fashion designer in the contemporary age, and his influence is mounting as we speak. As such, we went straight to the source – picking Dillane’s brains. From where it all began, to where it’s headed – we covered it all.

Watch Louis Vuitton Men’s Fall-Winter 2023 Fashion Show…

Watch the KidSuper’s SS23 Collection…

And now for the interview…

Hey Colm! Where are we speaking to you from?
I’m in Spain right now, Madrid. It’s my mom’s birthday, so I surprised her! She had just moved to Spain, so she didn’t expect me to come. So I surprised her at dinner, it was quite nice.

What’s the last thing you thought about before going to sleep last night?
I was designing the new collection, and watching this show called The Offer, which is how The Godfather got made. There was a producer that went above and beyond to try to get it made. Then I was Googling him, and I realised he went to my high school. It felt like in a weird way, I could also produce The Godfather.

Which high school was it?
Brooklyn Tech.

Not LaGuardia?
You know about LaGuardia? That’s good.

Nicki Minaj, Azealia Banks, Timothee Chalamet, and loads more went there.
Yeah, that’s actually real. They did go to that high school. But New York City has many different high schools that you have to test into them. Brooklyn Tech was a science school that you had to test into, but LaGuardia was an arts school.

I wanted to talk to you about all of your creative endeavours. You’ve tapped into quite a lot like cinematography, sewing, painting, and animation. Could you talk us through how you came across these endeavours, and how they found a place in your life?
When I started making t-shirts, there weren’t a lot of people that were willing to do different things, and do certain things for me. So I had to learn to become a jack of most trades. But as I progressed with my clothing, I got more opportunities. I kind of learned through trial and error, and clothing was always the catalyst that opened up me into these different mediums – because I was doing so many different things for clothing: graphic design, videomaking and all of that. That said, I don’t want to just be ‘okay’ at many things – I want to be good at many things.

So it came from necessity?
It was necessity, but I just also like doing it, too. I didn’t have this extensive vision of KidSuper as a clothing brand. But, I did have this vision of doing different mediums. And I was wondering how was I going to get there. What I love about fashion is it’s quite a low barrier of entry to get into – at least with streetwear. It’s a quite democratic art form, because everyone wears t-shirts. So you don’t need connections really to succeed.

Are there any untapped creative mediums that you would like to pursue that you haven’t yet?
Well, I wish I was good at singing. I don’t know if that’s untapped. I don’t know if I’m gonna find that. But, I mean, I’ve tried most things. I really do like the movie making of everything. I think what’s fun about movies is it’s a combination of everything that I’ve done, you can style, you can dress, there’s visuals, there’s scoring. So I find that quite fun. My next fashion show, which I don’t know if I’m supposed to say, is going to be a theatre play. That will be quite exciting and could go very, very wrong. But, it’s a risk. That’s the motto of KidSuper I think, ‘take risks’.

‘You’ve got to bet big to win big’ as they say.
Yes. And also, everywhere I’ve gotten feels like an amazing privilege that I’m super excited for, that I didn’t think I deserved. So I feel like I’m betting with money that I invented, so I’m quite willing to gamble.

KidSuper is not just a streetwear brand, but it’s a creative studio too. You said that the brand synthesises everything that you’re interested in. So, could you talk more about that?
It became a creative collective because we started getting asked from different brands and people for creative direction, just because they loved what we were doing with the brand. And another thing is, every time I did a collaboration with a brand, they would demand that I do the video, and that side of the marketing. So by default, people started calling it a creative collective. I had this building in Brooklyn, where I had moved in with a bunch of friends. I would let anyone and everyone sleep there. So people kind of became KidSuper artists. It wasn’t as planned out as it may sound. How many people are in the collective who knows? It could be two people, it could be 200 people.

I want to speak about how the Louis Vuitton Men’s Fall Winter 2023 show, and how guest designing came about. Also the loss of Virgil Abloh was still very much tangible. How did you go about carrying the torch of his legacy?
Tough question. I mean, I was as shocked as everyone else was. But I basically was asked to like pitch ideas. And I think many people were asked to pitch ideas, not just me. How many people were asked, I have no idea. I was very curious. But I came up with a million ideas, and I presented a book of 500 ideas, products, designs, shot commercials. I went above and beyond. The Virgil Abloh thing is interesting. It’s funny to say but without Virgil, I don’t think I would have even been in the running because, obviously we come from different perspectives, but he had the spirit of fearlessness, and the ability to connect different worlds. He had a childlike sense of wonder that I obviously had. Those were things that I always was inspired by, and respected within him. I was trying to honour that philosophy and bring that same spirit of breaking down who belongs within high end fashion. I also tried to honour it by not copying him directly, but kind of building off what he was doing, and adding a little bit of my own flair.

Do you have any other labels or maisons that you would love to guest creative direct for?
Well, I really wasn’t expecting to go to LV, so that was pretty crazy. But, when the Moschino thing happened, everyone was tagging me in that one. So it’s pretty interesting to me that if there’s a creative director role, I’m kind of in the conversation. But if you had asked me before the LV thing, I would have guest designed for any brand. I would have guest designed for Quiznos or Subways or Walmart, let alone LV, so yeah, I’m pretty open minded.

If you had any advice to young creatives just starting out, what would it be? Because, putting your work out there is quite a vulnerable thing. I saw a TikTok the other day that said ‘to be the coolest version of yourself, you have to climb cringe mountain.’ What advice would you have for somebody who’s trying to climb Cringe Mountain?
That’s funny. I think, because I come from such an outsider in the fashion world – I didn’t go to school, I was from Brooklyn, I didn’t have any connections. I never felt like I deserved a positive response. So I never cared, because I always thought ‘I can’t believe I’m doing this. I can’t believe I’m allowed to do this!’ I’m so grateful that I’m allowed to show my work to the world, that I didn’t even care what the response was that much. I was more excited by the little bit of doors that were open once I dropped something. So any little success, and that would be as small as you know, a random person purchasing that wasn’t a friend, I would be over the moon. I never felt the cringe mountain aspect. Also, when I got rejected twice or three times from Paris Fashion Week’s official calendar, I remember feeling like, ‘I can’t believe they’re reviewing me enough to say no!’ If you truly enjoy making it, the review shouldn’t even matter. You’re gonna get better and better and better and better.

To finish off, how do you see your artistry evolving in the future? I know you talked about being very grateful for just any and every opportunity that you’re given. But is there like just one goal or one big accomplishment where you feel like you’ve ‘made it’?
I want to be in a place where I’m collaborating with the greatest minds of our generation, and I’m working on different projects where I’m getting closer to that, which feels pretty exciting. Do I feel like I’ve made it? Not yet, but that LV thing definitely felt like I was skipping some steps. You know what was cool about that? That opened up a lot of doors, because people started seeing me differently.

KidSuper SS23
Artists: Charles Atlas, Judith Blum-Reddy

KidSuper SS23
Artists: Charles Atlas, Judith Blum-Reddy

KidSuper SS23
Artists: Whitfield Lovell, Robin Winters

KidSuper SS23
Artists: Whitfield Lovell, Robin Winters

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