King Stampede Shows How a Former Online Record Store Succeeded in Moving Into Retail (Boundless NY) + Street Fashion
Label Networks TV by Masaki Miyagawa
King Stampede is one of those unique street fashion apparel brands that not only cross boundaries with their designs, but also cross borders in music, retail, and collaborations. When we met up with Mikol Stambaugh for an interview about his Holiday and Spring ’08 collection with Label Networks TV, he was in an area of the MAGIC trade show in the South Hall that was basically surrounded by friends and fellow brand collaborators including Mishka and Mighty Healthy.
“Yes, we’ve collaborated with a lot of these guys—they’re our friends and we like to keep it in the family,” explained Mikol about the King Stampede philosophy. In street fashion, many brands tend to collaborate, not only with each other, but also the music industry, electronics, and more so now, cars (i.e., JB Classics and Ford), sports teams, and stores. This is something that is still quite unusual for 7th Avenue type brands that see sister/brother brand collabs as competitive.
For King Stampede however, the vibe is carried from their first forays into music. They originally started as an online music store, which carried a few T-shirts. As Mikol explains, “As sales for vinyl decreased, we started carrying more T-shirts, which lead to launching our online store, boundlessny.com and physical store, and our own brand, King Stampede.”
Interestingly, because they’re also an online retailer and brick ‘n mortar store out of Brooklyn, King Stampede also looks for “fresh new designers. We know that over time, they have to take our place, and we take someone else’s place.” Mikol talks with Label Networks TV about street culture and the impact it has on European marketplace and the difference between trade shows there vs. America” “They want to develop relationships before they give you their money; in America it’s all about their business.” Plus, what’s up with introducing a new vocabulary within their next collection.
In the current line, King Stampede is looking clean with various logos that will stand on their own as representations of a King Stampede garment without actually saying it, including various hidden stitching and logos, and military specs. The brand ranges from T-shirt graphics, to Sear-sucker shirts, rip-stop buttons, plaids, corduroy, chino shorts, and of course denim.
As Mikol puts it, “You need a complete line to compete with other brands these days. You need denim; you need cut and sew…” For King Stampede, they are also quite aware of their surroundings, always on the search for new designers for their stores. Boundless NY is just as popular as King Stampede, known for carrying a Who’s Who of street fashion brands such as Hellz Bellz, Lemar and Dauley, Mishka, Mighty Healthy, Crooks & Castles, Keep, 10 Deep, and Clae. Overall what King Stampede shows is how a one-dimensional business, can cross over into a multiple of genres, and still maintain cred.