Grind Vol. 86 October 2018
Grind: Please tell me about your career. For example, how was your childhood? What kind of things were you interested in?
MK: I grew up with an older brother and sister in North London. I started my childhood as an animal healer. All I was interested in was to heal their wounds and to listen to them. As a result my hearing senses became sharp.
Grind: Why are you based on London?
MK: My mission for this life is to be an English gentleman and beyond. London was where I was born, everybody complains about the weather all the time but I don’t mind it. My family live here too.
Grind: Compared to other cities, what type of city is London? Dose it have some specific characteristics?
Mk: There’s no point to compare city to city because all are different and beautiful in their own way. When you read the stories and listen to the songs that come from England, you can feel the humour and discover the character that originated here, it’s restrained and understated.
Grind: How did you start your brand GIMME FIVE?
MK: I was working in the City and one day almost everyone got made redundant. I’d already been DJ'ing and travelled to Japan a couple of times, it was impressive to see what was going on in NYC/LA/TYO and to know that my global friends wanted new London based products.
Grind: What is the concept of GIMME FIVE?
MK: Sharing is caring is the foundation concept of Gimme 5. At Gimme 5 we aim to please.
Grind: Many products are inspired by music culture, does this relate to your roots?
MK: Correct. We love music culture and try to express our love in our way. When i was a kid we only had three channels on the TV which ceased broadcasting at midnight. The radio however was always there around the clock.
Grind: You are tribe of Stüssy and OG of street culture in London, as we know. What do you think about current street culture and turning point of fashion?
MK: The current state of street wear is unrecognisable compared to what it was. Now, street wear is just a look or category. There isn’t any cultural connection. Punk = mohair sweater. etc.
Grind: You also work with KNOW WAVE. Is it possible play a role in connecting culture between New York, LA, and London?
Mk: I love the concept of Know Wave. its been great doing my own regular show as well as putting on other artists shows via my studio set up in London. I have had a lot of friends as guests coming through doing shows. It’s exciting to connect with people who might not come through just to say hello and to have them do a show. I never think about other places - only people.
Grind: Are you working on anything new? Or do you have something new that you want to start?
MK: I have been working with Stephen Mann, Kiko Kostadinov and Taro Smith for a couple of years, and our AFFIX products just launched. I am also working on a book of photos by Steve Brooks. I am doing this project with Mark, Tyrone and Frank Lebon.
Steve wasn’t a professional photographer - he ran the hairdressers called ‘Cuts’ in London, originally founded in Kensington market by James Lebon. Steve took photos mostly in triptych through the 90s and 00s. There were no mobile phones with cameras then. He developed the photos as contact sheets and put them in the shop window and then they were lost. Until now.
Grind: What do you think about street and fashion culture in Tokyo?
MK: I’ve been coming to Tokyo since the 80s and I love visiting Tokyo and Japan. I suppose I just like the people - the heart and the spirit, the mentality.
Grind: How does the activity and creativity of GIMME FIVE effect other cities around the world including Tokyo? What do you want it to effect?
MK: I am not thinking about the effect at all. I’m doing what I want to do.
Grind: What do you think that you and GIMME FIVE will be?
MK: I don’t know what G5 will be. I just want to enjoy the time with the people I work with and look after them and keep it real.