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Hopping from one building to another like a superhero, we catch up with Colm Dillane mid Uber-transit, as he travels from one photoshoot straight on to his next meeting. The hyper-creative multidisciplinary designer never stops working, creating, or imagining his next big splash. This frenzy is not just the successful formula behind his ever-growing brand KidSuper – it's an absolute necessity. Because until lately, KidSuper, the Paris Fashion Week stand-out, has only been a one-man army. «Before this week starting now, I’ve never had a full-time employee ever. KidSuper has always just been me. So, when I got the Louis Vuitton call, I was like ‘fuck, I probably need to hire somebody’. Now, it’s like three people and me, but it is always changing.» This work ethic is what defines Colm Dillane. Because unlike his very vibrant, colorful, and, in many ways, very fun approach to clothes, his whole process is incredibly serious. «You learn a lot from having the mentality of ‘I must execute’, and you learn a lot from finishing projects.» He thrives on deadlines, referring to them as his «guiding North Star», the very thing allowing him to create neck-breaking shows. «Deadlines make you finish. It puts a battery in your back. And that’s also what I love about Fashion Week – every six months you have to release.» Of course, his viral shows also require a great production team and, as he points out, «a lot of friends just helping out» but his mainline KidSuper production and everything that the brand engulfs, is all him. «I would design clothes or paint all day. And then I’d stay up all night on the phone with production from China and go through the process.»

Colm Dillane’s key to building his fashion brand is to never stop its creative output - switching the medium and masking it with fashion. This is how his viral “A Bull In A China Shop” show won over Paris Fashion Week back in 2019, entering his streetwear brand into the world of high fashion, where he also now operates. «What’s good is that sometimes you hit a wall creatively, but then I switch between mediums. From painting to designing clothes, or vice versa. Sometimes none of it works and then maybe I would go do a video. Maybe I’ll do a stop-motion film.» His most recent comedy/fashion show is yet another way of exploring media with fashion. And he is far from running out of ideas yet. «Well, for my next fashion show… wink, wink… I’ll be doing a full-on theater play.» 

To refer to KidSuper and Colm Dillane’s designs as streetwear might be off-putting to some, but that’s exactly his brand and designer ethos. Reminiscing on his 2019 Paris Fashion Week stunts, back when he used to bootleg brands like Dior, Comme Des Garçons, Raf Simons, and Off-White™ with fake KidSuper collaboration t-shirts, selling them inside pop-up stores set outside the brands’ official shows and writing on his old Instagram page «One day it would be cool to collab with one of these brands,» Dillane smiles, thinking about that old KidSuper era. He was once close to a Dior bootleg, but it wasn’t quite that French heritage monogram he eventually would end up painting his iconic abstract faces over. «Well, I’ve always had the streetwear ‘fuck you mentality’, but I’m not like the ‘fuck everyone mentality’. A lot of streetwear kids are like ‘fuck everybody, let’s do drugs and fight’, and I’m just not really that kid.» Streetwear, in his mind, doesn’t have to be all about swear words printed onto baggy garments and performing a thousand-year-old macho persona. It can also be about kissing faces, corduroy fabrics, and bringing your parents to shows – even persuading his dad to walk the runway for his SS23 Auction show in Paris. «What I own is the ‘fuck establishments mentality’ and I’m mischievously trying to break into the world of those who have power. And that was really why the first show in Paris was called ‘A Bull In A China Shop’ – as in "I don’t fit in but I’m going to cause a lot of noise, and you’re going to have to recognize me". So, I think my entrance into this world of high fashion is incredibly streetwear, and fuck anyone who thinks otherwise.»

And the fashion world did recognize him. Following the Paris premiere outside the official calendar, Covid-19 stopped the world from spinning, and his very first regular show became a stop-motion film – clothing dolls imitating celebrities in miniature garments – in what undoubtedly became his brand’s most viral moment. «I honestly thought they would kick me off the fashion week because the clothes are small, and they weren’t going to consider it a fashion show. But then it ends up being my most successful show because everybody is talking about it.» 

Suddenly, the floodgates opened. Colm Dillane’s work got praised by the 2021 LVMH Prize, as the numerous years of constant creative work eventually culminated in him winning the pick to creatively helm Louis Vuitton’s guest collection back in January. The intermediate years, from his first appearance in Paris in 2019 to 2023’s catapult of a start with a successful and neatly welcomed Louis Vuitton collection, witnessed his transformation from a kiddish streetwear-designer transforming to a world-renowned big-brand creative director. A personal growth – one that Colm also acknowledges: «I suddenly realized, like wow, things are possible. It’s becoming real. And also, like wow, I have to get my shit together as a business owner.» Following the appointment of Pharrell Williams filling as the new creative director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear line, social media saw Colm jokingly crying in the shower (although the tears could in all effects have been real), congratulating Pharrell on his KidSuper Instagram stories. «You realize that if you look at all the other brand owners who are considered creative directors – they’re all businessmen. They are extremely good at getting the right people. They own a great level of taste, and they know artists and designers that can do all of that stuff. They know the product that sells and they know which employees the brand needs. And like, I didn’t know shit about that. So that’s the personal growth that I’m doing now. »

His dream of helming a brand at the pinnacle of high fashion such as Louis Vuitton partly became a reality, a first that made the streetwear hero hungry for more. «If you asked me six months ago, I would do anyone. I would have agreed to creative direct Walmart or Target.» We crack into a short laugh, but his words have a sense of seriousness. «But now, after Louis Vuitton, it’s a different level. Like, If you had to name ten creative directors to take over a fashion house, I have to be in that conversation.» Asking this deadline-driven creative about his future inside high fashion’s creative directors' musical chairs, it is clear that his imagination is open to many options. But it also seems that our superhero’s nemesis is forming into the creative director role of everyone’s favorite French heritage luggage company – a role he must fully conquer and win over. «I want a brand where I can go and shake things up and add my own little sauce to its history. So, I don’t know. Of course, everyone was tagging me in Moschino when Jeremy Scott left. And Dior would be kinda cool, right? But part of my pitch for Louis Vuitton was a 500-page book with stuff, so I still have a lot of ideas for them.» For now, Colm is feeling just as excited about his upcoming projects, as he is about putting a football field on top of his new headquarters in New York, making space for his lifelong passion. A project that involves expanding from his iconic tiny turquoise Brooklyn hide-out, to a full-on 10.000 square feet KidSuper-liar. Oh, and of course designing his next collection. The football field sparks a conversation on the coming Champions League finals, his favorites to lift the trophy, and near official third kit KidSuper collaborations coming in the future. The connection becomes gritty as the 40-minute Uber drive comes to a laggy end. Before we hit that glaring end-call button and let Colm on his way, we ask him one last thing:

Is KidSuper becoming Superman?

«I’m trying.»


Photographer: Julius Frazer

Interview: Sunny & Jacob Krebs

Creative Director: Sarah Bassett

Production: Other Half

Executive Producers: Cara Scott, Dustin Grant

Stylist: Ian McRae

Groomer: Melissa DeZarate

Photo Assistant: Sam Williams

Photo Rep: Silver Tooth

Groomer Agent: A-Frame Agency