26 June 2007

panda head interviews...

neran dhas is one of the partners who own kickballers, a sneaker and streetwear store that moved into (and completely transformed) smash's old georgetown space. it's one of a couple great streetwear stores that we're lucky enough to have had open up in the city in the last year or so, and it's certainly a breath of fresh air in sometimes stodgy georgetown. with tons of carefully handpicked pieces for both men and women (including ones by local designers, like de*nada) and in-store events including sets by friend and DC-to-LA transplant DJ quixotic, kickballers is an excellent addition to this weekend's to-do list.

how would you describe your personal style? to what extent is that reflected in your store?
My personal style is exactly what it is…my personal style. You can catch me wearing anything from a blank t-shirt to a Polo shirt - you have to be ready for anything. Most of the time, I'll admit, you will catch me in a pair of jeans, a t-shirt and some sneakers. I'm not too big on jewelry but I do believe a watch is a nice accessory for men.
I think between my partners and I, all our styles are reflected in the store...with brands like Soy Clothing, Hello Minor, Upper Playground ([those are] just a few T-shirt companies), to WESC and Marc Ecko Cut & Sew - [those] are brands you can wear to get your grown folk on. At the end of the day, if you work a day job you want to be able to relax and get away from the button-up shirts and ties, but...there will be times when you have to make sure your clothing is proper and unfortunately sometimes t-shirts are not acceptable.
how do you go about picking pieces/lines for the shop?
Personally when I pick lines, I like to get stuff that’s eye catching - but at the same time stuff you won't find at any other shops in DC area. Not saying all the stuff we have at the store is exclusive to our store, but we do and will have a few lines that you will only be able to find at our store. When picking lines you have to keep in mind stuff you might like will not always be something that the guy down the street will like. That’s why its good having multiple eyes on what we pick, before we send in an order we have everyone look at it just to make sure it will be stuff that we think most people will like.
how did you get interested in sneakers? what's your personal collection like?
Thinking about how I got into sneakers always takes me on a trip down memory lane...when I was younger I always wanted the newest Jordans to come out. Unfortunately my parents would not spend $100+ on a pair of sneakers, so once I got a job I started my collection...at the same time I was heavily involved in the import car show circuit so it was one of those things you wanted: your car and yourself to stand out from everyone elses.
Right now my personal collection ranges from Jordans, Dunks, Air Max, Air Force Ones, Reebok Pumps, Vans and many others; last time I took count of my sneakers was over 2 years ago and it was in the 1000 mark somewhere - since then I have probably picked up anywhere from 2-5 pairs of sneakers a week. Some people say it’s a habit, I call it a hobby.
what's your favorite item or line in the store?
I guess the right answer would be everything right? But one of my favorite items was the Heineken Nike Dunks we had, just the color was so appealing to my eyes. Other items we have that are favorites are the Kid Robot toys, and also the plastic Little Brooklyn dog we have up front.
any upcoming events?
We have a couple in-store events planned...we do plan on featuring different artists from different backgrounds of art - I feel that our store is a good forum for them to showcase their work in. Plus we will be doing other types of events, from clothing lines releasing new products, to showcasing special DJS. The reason we want to do the DJs is because a lot of the kids can't get into the clubs to see [them], so we bring them to the store so they can showcase their talents to a wider group of people. The best way to keep up with our events is to check out our blog on our website...
what do you like about being in DC, as opposed to any other city?
Crack. What other city would the old mayor, Marion Barry, be caught smoking crack? Ok for reals though DC is a powerhouse, a lot of people sleep on DC but if you take the time to venture you can find some sick graf pieces, small boutiques that carry stuff that you would never think about finding in DC, and there is a great music [scene] in DC, from RocknRoll to Hip Hop. We have some great local artists here that are doing their thing to put DC on the map: The Speaks, SOJA, WALE, Tabi Bonney. There is a lot of great talent here, people just need to take the time to go out and discover it - so basically, get off your sofa, put the remote down and go find it! I have lived in other major cities like LA and NYC and by far I can say I have more fun in DC. Well, if they had an In and Out Burger out here like they do in LA it would make it perfect...
what's your take on DC style, in general?
To be honest I have a love/hate relationship with DC style. There is a lot of style out here, different types too: you've got your sneaker head/street wear people, you've got your dress up people, punk rock heads, and people who don’t care and wear everything and anything. The one thing I hate is that a lot of people - and this just doesn’t go for DC but I guess for anywhere - but they are quick to pick up and drop styles like it was changing their underwear. I don’t hate on what people wear or what they want to do, but my personal thing is always wear what you want, and don’t let anyone or anything tell you how to dress.

interview: morgan. kickballers is located at 3285 1/2 M street NW. check them out online at kickballersDC.com.


Anonymous Maureen said...

Kickballers is definitely a hot shoe store, especially if you are looking for sneakers that you can't find anywhere else.

12:14 PM  
Blogger jyoun88 said...

The Tabi Bonney link is to Wale's myspace!! You should put both up seriously, though.

4:48 PM  
Blogger panda head said...

thanks! who knows what html craziness i did there, but they're both up as they should be...

5:23 PM  
Blogger Candid Cool said...

1000 pairs??!! How on earth does he store them? Cool interview as always

8:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Every time I try to get a HelloMinor tee, your sold out.

12:27 AM  

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