Fashion

A Class On Being C-nty With Brooklyn-Based Brand K.NGSLEY’s Latest Line

Founder Kingsley Gbadegesin demonstrates corporate-to-club dressing in Collection 2: K.NGSLEY’S School For Girls.

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A Class On Being C-nty With Brooklyn-Based Brand K.NGSLEY’s Latest Line

Founder Kingsley Gbadegesin demonstrates corporate-to-club dressing in Collection 2: K.NGSLEY’S School For Girls.

School’s in session with Brooklyn-based brand K.NGSLEY, as the founder of the rising fashion label, Kingsley Gbadegesin, teaches how to be “the girl” in and out of office with a 30-look lineup.

Combining masc and femme fashions, Collection 2: K.NGSLEY’S School For Girls, out today, integrates the classic K.NGSLEY charm into sustainable closet staples, elevating everyday wear. From versatile denim pieces donning cheeky cutouts to backless oxford button-downs,  Gbadegesin gives corpcore a c-nt touch.

“[I wanted to add] the feeling of c-nt [to the collection,]” the Nigerian-American design talent tells Hypebae. “I’m hyper aware of how things should feel and fit, and my touch and joy is sharing that with people. It’s a bit vulnerable.” 

Throughout the slew of Spring/Summer styles, Gbadegesin skillfully showcases how he applies his artistic abilities, developed during his time at major fashion brands, including Celine and Loewe, to his own label. For the robust range of preppy rugby polos, luxe long-sleeve sheer tops and cozy crewnecks, the 30-year-old tastemaker incorporates high-end textiles, such as houndstooth/chenille hybrids and plush wool boucle, to take his signature styles to the next level. 

While Gbadegesin weaves these premium materials into his design process for the first time, he continues to channel his love for Brooklyn, and the buzzing neighborhood Bushwick, through the line’s everyday essentials. In brown-burgundy hues, a “BUSHWICK” insignia stamps gray sweatshirts, putting his fondness for the neighborhood that shaped him into the individual he is today on full display. 

“I wouldn’t be THE GIRL I am today if not for living in Bushwick,” the designer details. “Living there for almost 6 years there is a certain grit and hustle that you can only experience living there. Over dinner with some girlfriends, we were talking about how we all graduated from Bushwick University and the idea has stuck with me since then and I am happy with how we’ve been able to communicate the collection.”

In an interview below, get to know Kingsley Gbadegesin and learn more about how Collection 2: K.NGSLEY’S School For Girls and his brand as a whole transitions “the girls” from their 9-5 to their 5-9. 

What was your driving force in branching out to start your own fashion brand? What were some key learning lessons you gained from working with Loewe, Versace and Celine that you applied to your label?

I never thought K.NGSLEY would’ve materialized into what it is today, but the moment it happened to be something bigger than me, I made sure that it would be a reflection of what I wish I saw growing up –  Black, C-NT and unapologetically Queer AF. A key lesson from my past career is that collaboration with people who share the same passions as you make the end product/results much better than you can have ever imagined and is something I want to continue to implement at K.NGSLEY.

You’ve mentioned that you make sure K.NGSLEY “clothes can do more for [consumers] and be an easy transition from [their] 9-5 to [their] 5-9.” Why is that an essential element of the K.NGSLEY ethos? 

As a small business we have to be cautious about our footprint, and have to ask ourselves what purpose is this fulfilling and as a brand that’s ingrained in the spirit of nightlife, how are our clothes transitioning for them into their day. As a former corporate girlie, I design for that girl. She’s the Sr. Comms Manager by day and get’s down with the girls after and her clothes are an effortless transition between both worlds.

What was the inspiration behind this collection? 

GIRL CULTURE.

The pieces in the new collection incorporate the use of elevated textiles, including plush wool boucle and houndstooth/chenille hybrids, for the first time. Why were these materials an integral part of your design process? 

It was a natural extension of our wardrobe building, and a sustainable way for us to be able to produce small batches of well tailored clothes.

As a first-generation Nigerian-American, are there aspects of your heritage or upbringing that you’ve applied to your creative craft? 

I would describe my Nigerian upbringing as being very parallel to Ballroom culture. We’re very prideful people and there is a way to show up. In Ballroom, there is an energy that girls have who’re walking for the cash prize have that just can’t be denied and feels like the rich auntie who just pulled up the party and her gele and aso ebi signals she’s not here to play but to shut it down.

Community is at the core of K.NGSLEY, along with amplifying the voices of Black, Queer and Femme individuals. Talk to me about the ways in which you celebrate your community and their culture with your brand. 

I am nothing but a mirror of the energy of community that I get to celebrate life with. It’s in everything that we do, from our storytelling to our staff and collaborators

In what ways does your brand align with your unique identity and personality?

I am she and she is me!

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