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Channel Your Inner Koodoo

by Kenyatta D. Pious
We had a chat with Rikers / VP of Marketing and Kyle Cho / Operations Manager of Koodoo, a nascent brand that is raising a lot of eyebrows. This is a masculine brand with tribal inspirations that draw from the brand’s namesake: kudu. Kudu are African deer that have enormous horns and are known for bravery and leadership. The deer will fight back against predators to protect the group.

We are not surprised by the homage to Africa as we are seeing, with the help of social media, a large amount of smart expressions that are inspired by the African experience, especially in music, which is a quick indicator that fashion must follow suit. [See for example Nico & Vinz’s Am I wrong as well as Bracket’s Mama Africa].

But Koodoo is hardly some gimmicky brand. It features designs that resonate at a modest price point. The Koodoo hockey fleece jacket (available in grey or black) is a keeper! It is the kind of garment that is a conversation-starter. Koodoo offers an interesting take on the tribal motif and we can’t wait to see what future collections will look like, but in the meantime, score yourself a Koodoo Dragon sweatshirt: http://www.koodoobrand.com/store/ - (Don’t forget to enter the contest below to win FREE Koodoo apparel).

Tell us a little bit about how you come up with each season – do you follow trends etc.?
We do extensive trend research and market research. Based on our research, we felt that somehow our competitors were kind of lost in terms of what they should do. So we felt we should go ahead and make something special that we believe to be truly unique and exciting for our customers. We were inspired by many things. Our brand name Koodoo is from an African animal, which directly inspires us about many elements from Africa. Lastly, we like masculinity, high quality material and technics, as well as couture detailing.

What is one thing that no one knows about the brand?
I bet at this point of time, it is hard to track our team’s mindset for making this brand and product. We want to be known for being ethical, honest, and a sincere brand when it comes to designing, purchasing for materials, producing and distributing. Our intent is to create a loving brand for a long time.

Say more about the Koodoo liefestyle.
At Koodoo we came together and treat each other as blood relatives. As the kudu walks the vast region of its habitat we walk society as one. Everyone has a unique Koodoo name within the company so it's more of a relaxed family setting rather than a corporation situation. This is why our designs can stay cutting edge, quality on par...because everyone is allowed feedback and to submit ideas at every turn of the company.

What do you want to get across to the consumer this season?
The goal of Koodoo this season as well as future collections is [to provide] originality, [the] highest quality and offer the consumer something special.
We noticed a lot of tribal prints on the runways and some muted, is this something you noticed while conceiving this collection?
Yes, our collection for this season was conceived from African culture. Tribal prints are part of our brand’s identity.

Is the current Koodoo collection unisex?
Currently the collection is for men, but [according to feedback, many women] plan on buying pieces for themselves.

What makes your brand relevant?
Quality over quantity. For instance, on our signature fleece tops we have workable zippers. We want to keep the clothing entertaining for the consumer as well as for anyone in his circle.

Are there any social media promotions/initiatives going on that we should know about?
We will eventually expand our social media content, adding online contests, hidden gift certificates, etc. We use social media: www.Facebook.com/koodoobrand, Instagram - @Koodoobrand, Twitter - @Koodoobrand it's a koodoo thing...haha. [Consumers etc. can also check out:] twitter- @Rikers, Instagram - @rikersBk. Rikers will also be offering new styles and eventually contests. It's also another way he can be contacted.

What celebrity best embodies your brand?
Hard to say, we are young, but what is young these days? 30 is the new 20, 40 is the new 60...I think with how fast the market is, from Wiz Khalifa to Rick Ross to even Pitbull, there is something within the Koodoo collection for you.

Where can Koodoo be bought?
Koodoo is currently sold mainly in New York boutique stores. If you go to urban street wear & sportswear stores in your main street of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Jamaica, or Queens, you will be able to hear about us. If you experience difficulty looking for stores in your area, you can always come to our website for shopping. It’s available at www.koodoobrand.com/store.

Do you have any fashion shows or trade shows that you will be attending soon?
We will be attending the Magic show next February.

What is your etiquette for maintenance of your collection – is it dry clean only?
Machine wash is acceptable. However, dry cleaning is always an option.

What is the hardest thing you encountered while coming up with this collection?
Introducing it to the stores. Stores tend to be reluctant when introducing a new brand, unless it is backed heavily by existing brands or celebrities. Koodoo started by its own, so just "to get in the door” part wasn’t so easy for us.

What is the price point?
Our fleece goes from $89 to 98. You might think our price point is high. But you really have to compare our quality to our competitors. It’s all about value and a truly valuable piece is priceless.


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