What’s good ladies and gents? I present you with another segment of the #FashionableFriendFeature. It’s a segment where I feature homies of mine who are bringing a creative wave to the city of Edmonton whether it’s through music, photography, fashion, entrepreneurship, etc. Since starting this blog, I have met some of the dopest creatives that this city has to offer and managed to learn more about their hustle. One person in particular is a gentleman by the name of Ke. I was fortunate enough to have met Ke at the Sole Good Sneaker Convention last June. He had a table set up that consisted of more Jordan’s than the average hypebeast alongside a cardboard box full of red Supreme water bottles. Ke and I talked Supreme for a bit as well as the sneaker/streetwear culture in Edmonton. Three years ago, he founded an online streetwear supplier called KO Market with services that include the buying, selling of high-end streetwear apparel along with exclusive footwear. Since our chat, Ke has been on his grind in areas of fashion and business. In May, Ke opened up a men’s clothing store called ANNMS on the second floor (#200 to be exact) along Whyte Avenue. Ke and his homies 67, Marshall Chen and Rex Wu founded ANNMS and together, managed to create a space where the minimalistic style is embraced to the fullest. From hidden fitting rooms to an Apple Pay machine at the front, need I say more? Ke walked me through a few brands carried at ANNMS. On the hangers were pieces by Chapter based out of California, L.A’s Daniel Patrick, Purlicue, sock brand CHUP and local Edmonton brand, Addiction. From walking around the shop and admiring each piece, there’s no doubt that ANNMS hits minimalism on the head when it comes to menswear for it is strictly based on the longevity of each garment. There’s even ANNMS chocolate bars courtesy of JACEK chocolate as while publications of MONT THIRTY and Intelligence magazines are displayed on the front table. If you’re ever along Whyte, stop by ANNMS and follow them on Instagram and Facebook for upcoming announcements for they don’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.
1.) Who are you?
Marshall Chen: 22
Ke Wang: 23
Rex Wu: 28
2.) Tell me about yourselves:
MC: I’m currently an Electrical Engineering student in U of A.
KW: I love sneakers, streetwear and fashion in general. Founded KO Market 3 years ago, and SoleGood 2 years ago. Now co-owner and head buyer at ANNMS Shop.
RW: Previously worked at HAVEN Edmonton for 4 years, which was where I met 67, Marshall and Ke. They were my old customers. I am also a Registered Nurse.
3.) For Ke: When we met at Sole Good, aside from our Supreme talk, you touched base on KO Market, an urban street wear supplier that you run. How’d you start KO Market?
KW: I think every business starts from demand and supply. At that time, I was really into Supreme, it is a brand I am really passionate about, and have quite some knowledge on. I found out people really had a hard time obtaining certain items from Supreme. There was a huge demand, so I went ahead and built KO Market to sell Supreme items. Later on I expanded into more streetwear brands and sneakers. Right now, I don’t go to different forums and Facebook groups that often like I used to, I don’t care about what is popular or hype anymore. KO Market is more like a place showing my taste and style now.
4.) Last month, you guys opened ANNMS Shop on Whyte Ave. Does ANNMS stand for anything in particular? Why’d you call it ANNMS?
ANNMS is derived from anonymous, which symbolizes our philosophy. We like stuff that have unique cuts and designs with no or minimum logos that can last a while in the ever-evolving menswear fashion industry. The same concept can be seen in our store interior design, including hidden doors, minimalistic reception area, and industrial piping systems for our hangers.
5.) What are some brands that you carry at ANNMS?
Chapter: A California based brand that currently only carried by three boutiques across Canada. Focuses on simple color scheme, premium material, small details and an outstanding fit.
Daniel Patrick: Hand made in downtown LA, Daniel Patrick is an American fashion designer that’s dedicated to high end streetwear clothing. Unlike Chapter, Daniel Patrick often uses different colors for different seasons while keeping the silhouette simple and clean. For the past couple seasons, Daniel Patrick really focused on more relaxed fits and sporty designs which keeps you comfortable and stylish all season long.
Purlicue: A brand that designed by a young Chinese architect – Su Junhua (AKA Su Wukou). It is a brand we are really excited about, if you want to know more about this brand, luckily, we did a exclusive in depth interview with him, and you can check it out here: http://annmsshop.ca/news/2016/6/4/entry-01-a-conversation-with-su-junhua-the-mastermind-behind-purlicue
CHUP: Japanese Sock brand. Designed and hand made in Japan. The highest quality sock you can get your hands on.
Addiction: An Edmonton based brand, and only local brand we are carrying right now. Big things coming from them in the future, just be patient.
Besides all the brands above, we are also carrying publications from Intelligence Mag, Mont Thirty and Monocle
Just want to share some inside information with you, we just received our shipments from Guerrilla Group, a brand we are really excited about and have some hype around it. We will also receive our 16 F/W shipments from nish brand Norse Project.
We will also pick up couple brands next month from the New York fashion week, just keep an eye on our social media and blog!
6.) Was it hard choosing brands to be a part of ANNMS? What was the process like?
It could be challenging at first because we are a brand new store. Many brands wanted to wait and see what our store would look like and what we can do as a stockiest to display their products. We were very fortunate to have a few brands on board with us right off the bat even before we opened the shop. We will be going to the New York Mens Market week and Know Show in July to check out a few more brands.
7.) What made you want to open your own store?
We all have a little bit of background and interest in menswear market in Edmonton, and because of that we feel like there is a void that is growing for a new source for quality menswear. We got together to open a new kind of menswear boutique that the city was lacking. Truthfully, we just wanted to open a cool shop.
8.) What advice do you have for anyone wanting to start their own brand/store?
I think we are way too early to give anybody advice, since we are still learning many things everyday. It is not an easy thing to do to open your shop, but if it’s easy, then anybody can do it.
9.) You guys are quite the streetwear/sneaker gurus, any street wear brands out there that you’re currently feeling?
We love all the brands we currently carry right now. We all wear them ourselves. In addition, we are talking to many brands currently, but I would like to keep that a secret for now. Once we are confirmed, we will post them on our website right away.
10.) What got you into street wear?
Ke: When I was young, every kid wanted to be the cool one, I’m the same too. And also I love basketball, I have been playing basketball since grade 5, that’s how I got into sneakers, and sneaker is a huge part of streetwear.
Rex: Basketball. When I grew up, I was a fanatic for an anime called Slam Dunk, and when everybody was watching Pokemon, I was watching NBA. Basketball has a lot of ties with streetwear and sneakers. That’s how it got started for me.
Marshall: To be honest, Edison Chen is the one who bought me into the streetwear world. He is always be an icon for me!
67: I started to be interested on streetwear because of sneakers.
11.) When we first met at Sole Good, we talked a bit about Supreme and how there is such a high demand for it. What are your thoughts on the hype along with the buying/reselling at a higher value?
Ke: every business based on supply & demand. Supreme has a very unique business model, they don’t have retailer/middle man, thus their 4 flagship stores(not including Japan since Japan stores are not managed by Supreme directly) are the only stores you can get Supreme items from. Of course more and more stores start to copying that business model now, but 10 years ago, it was crazy for Supreme to do so, considering brands like Stussy, Undefeated were sold through thousands of different retailers around the world. The huge difference between supply & demand creates a huge consumer surplus, which basically means resell.
It doesn’t matter how people think about it, as long as Supreme keeps designing cool products and being exclusive, people will resell. It almost became a sub culture that comes with Supreme itself.
The most important thing is that the consumers have to be true to themselves. They can’t buy something because it is hype, or a celebrity wore it. Buy what you like, wear what’s more suitable for you, not someone else. Do more research on material, fit, and design, so you know how much a piece of clothing really worth, and you will start spending your money more wisely.
12.) What’s the movement this year for ANNMS? Any big announcements?
We will be going to New York next month. It is a first time for Ke and myself (Rex), and we are pretty stoked and we hope it turns out well. Currently we are working on our webstore as well, so we are able to ship out products worldwide.
13.) How do guys you style your lives?
Rex: my sneaker collection is part of my living room. I thought if i was to spend so much time and money on them, might as well display them nicely instead of leaving them in a closet. I always check out accessories from my favorite brands. I like having cool small things laying around at my apartment.
Marshall: I can’t define what my style is, I just live and dress whatever I feel right about. Be water, my friend!
Ke: I just buy what I like, what makes me feel more comfortable (mentally and physically).
14.) Provide us with your social media platforms