While searching for a Saul Williams interview a couple of years ago I stumbled upon a site called Evil Monito. I had no idea what it was at the time; After reading the interview and going through the archives I found several interesting essays ranging from identity politics to capitalist consumption. As I browsed through the site some more I discovered that Ricky Kim was the man behind Evil Monito. As founder, Kim and his crew critique and dissect pop culture. Not only was it one of the most in depth articles I’ve ever read about Saul Williams but it tackled profound questions raised about his work. Fast forward 3 years later and the Evil Monito title includes online magazine and catalyst for Ricky Kim as well as marketing and PR firm based in Echo Park, CA. Kim also collaborates with such brands as Kangol, CreativeRecreation, and Logan Hicks. According to Mr.Kim, Evil Monito provides a behind the scences look at his hustle of the two worlds. Gitamba conducted an interview with Mr. Kim via email a couple weeks ago, I think its pretty interesting, check it out.
It seems like your always “on”, is there ever a time you get to just chill out? If so whats a day “off” like for you/ what do you do to relax?
I’m usually my 100% between hours of 7am to 12pm. After 12, I’m usually
handling meetings and such so my brain isn’t really able to focus on
design and writing. After dinner, around 8 pm to 12 am, I get back
on my grind. I am trying to leave my office by 7 pm these days. I also try to
keep my weekends and mondays free. Mondays are reserved for Staff
meetings and general upkeep of EM stuff. I try to spend those days
checking out bookstores, hitting up the beach, catching up with family,
and doing stuff that keeps my mind off work.
With the recent acquisitions of “street wear” brands by larger companies (Iconix buying Artful Dodger) where do you see the culture going in the next couple years?
In regards to streetwear, I am zoning out of it. I guess its due to my age
and how my tastes have changed. I am really keen on observing how
streetwear brands are pushing the envelope and challenging what we see in
contemporary and high fashion. Brands that have successfully done this are
Nom De Guerre, House of Cassette, Apolis, Kazuo, Fiberops, etc. I feel
that High Fashion is very enthused on what is happening in street culture.
But this trend has been going on for hundreds of years, the gentrified
class always look to the street for inspiration.
Do you think that the idea of “street wear” as a overly materialistic culture is a accurate observation? In the context of how products are advertised on blogs before they even come out; When they do, they are consumed at a rapid pace then replaced by the next big product…
I think street wear in itself is consumer culture fetish in general.
Streetwear is taking apart what larger entities have brought onto the
masses. Hence reappropriating corporate logos and ideas and re-injecting
another spin to it, such parody is common if not a default component in
streetwear. What is interesting is how parody has become a bonefied
business. The blog culture of streetwear has certainly advanced streetwear
into the public but I don’t necessarily think it has assisted the quality
of the clothing. I think a majority of what we see out there now is pretty
bad. There’s only a few companies who are doing it right. Look at Supreme,
it is a pleasure seeing how they are able to foster their brand.
Evil Monito and your personal blog give us insight into the inner workings of your public life. You have a big cast of characters that are featured regularly; do you actively seek these people out? And how important is “networking” is to you?
Evil Monito is completely objective whereas Mrkimsays.com is personal.
Evil Monito is about to re-launch in mid April, we’re going back to our
roots and re-launching our magazine. We are extremely excited about that.
In regards to Mrkimsays.com, its the life I live and the people that I
interact with are people that I genuinely am interested in building ideas.
What are you thoughts about the independents becoming the voice of the mark? EG- In the early stages you had to be a Roca Wear or Ecko. Now the underground is mixing it up with the mainstream.
Independents have always moved culture. Even Ecko and Rocawear all began
in small humble beginnings. I think we are merely seeing what has been
going on for years. It seems more pronounced only due to the
infrastructure of media distribution points being readily available,
ie- the internet.
Your ideas and concepts of Evil Monito has changed since you first created the project in your last years of college. Evil Monito as you describe it was a way dissecting and voicing your opinion about pop culture. In the journey from the beginning of evil monito to now (creating tangible products) how have your ideals about consumption changed?
My ideals have, for the most part, remained the same in that I am still in
the journey of taking apart existing constructs in society. As EM
progressed from an online magazine to a design studio, we are delving back
again to our editorial roots, hence the re-launch of Evil Monito Issue 22
in April. Participating in the world of consumerism has proven to be an
experiment at best. We are still learning and working towards a goal of
understanding the dialogue at hand.
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