Colm Dillane is a kid who believes anything is possible. He is a NYC native who spent his childhood moving around everywhere from Wisconsin to Mexico only to settle where he originated, The Big Apple. Colm has always taken academics seriously, withbeing zoned to the Chinatown school district and taking honors classes he described the environment as “the most competitive ever”. His school didn’t offer many art classes, it was mainly focused on solely math & science. Colm and his buddies would find themselves doodling on desk and in hallways between classes for a creative outlet from the day to day academics. Then one day they decided “Let’s do the New York thing and create a T-Shirt company!”. From there BOTS (Brick Oven T-Shirts) started, there were a few releases, which were awesome but they ran into the typical group problems and were disbanded. Colm continued to make his own shirts because he genuinely enjoyed the craft. He toyed around with different ideas and brand names and when KidSuper came to him, he had to go with it. He said it just fit his personality best, a kid who believes anything is possible…
So Colm, you’re a math major at NYU? How do you find the balance between your studies, owning KidSuper and maintaining a social life?
Ever since high school, I’ve been a math major because Brooklyn Tech made you pick majors, so I’m used to balancing a lot. It was always soccer, school, and designing. It’s been the same since I was a kid. Now that KidSuper has received a little more attention my studies have been receiving a little less attention but I’m going to finish school. In terms of social life, since KidSuper I’ve been introduced to a lot of new cool people that I now call my friends as well as my old friends that have stuck by and have been a lot of help along the way. I could not have done anything without Demir Purisic and Danny Fein.
You recently held your grand opening where The Underachievers also performed. Can you describe this experience to our readers? How was the turn out?
You know when you plan something and you have an image in your mind of how it’s going to turn out? So the opening started at 3 and in my mind I thought there would be a line outside of screaming fans waiting to get in. There was not. It started a little slower than I expected, which probably should’ve been expected, but the childlike dreamer inside of me kept my expectations high. The day went on and unfamiliar faces kept pouring in amidst friends and family until 7 o’clock when the performances started. Everyone crammed into the 6 foot tall box of a basement beneath the store. The first performer was Aaron Cohen with the Inner City Kids. Everything that could have gone wrong went wrong. The DJ played the wrong song, only had 20 seconds of the right song, and the beat kept cutting out, but it created the coolest acapella performance where he and everyone that knew the words were screaming “I’m Helen Keller to the BULLSHIT!!” The energy was unreal, Aaron Cohen handled it amazingly, and I felt like I was in 8 Mile haha. Next to perform was Perrion and the H.O.M.E. Team… they were 45 minutes late. Everyone was asking me “where is the next performer?” and I’m asking Tinyy, Perrion’s 6’8″ 300 lb DJ where is the next performer? but as I anxiously walk back downstairs I look to see a crowd of people huddled around Issa Dash of The Underachievers. Another kid was skating for the crowd, they had turned the basement into an underground skatepark. It embodied KidSuper, every fail turned into something amazing. Perrion shows up and gets the crowd going again. Evereyone was in awe, he and his crew killed it. Last to perform was our headliners, The Underachievers. The up and coming duo from Flatbush comprised of AK and Issa Dash seemed like veterans on the microphone. Their confidence and poise put the crowd in a trance. Their sound is hypnotic. Flatbush Zombies showed up to support during their performance, the whole thing was unbelievable. Watching them perform you’d think they’ve been doing it their whole lives. The whole crowd was chanting their lyrics. I was nervous the entire day, but by the end of the performances I was in a completely different world and had forgotten about any stress over things not going right. The childlike dreamer inside of me was completely satisfied.
You mentioned to me that you live in the back of the store. That’s interesting. You’re making ends meet and we respect that kind of hustle over here at JENESIS. Is it safe to bring girls back there? Haha
Well the reason I live in the back of the store is because I could not afford it otherwise. I like that people can come to the store and I can roll out of bed to let them in. I also like that I’m always here so it’s always a spot to meet up and create things rather than just a storefront. As for bringing girls back, part of affording the store meant having a roommate. That roommate ended up being a girl, who is now my girlfriend. She’s a black belt.
I saw that in the store some of the clothing racks are made of bicycle wheels. That is pretty fucking creative. Do you have anymore odd creative ideas up your sleeve that we should know about?
I have to say that wasn’t my idea. It was my girlfriend’s idea and it’s brilliant, maybe she’s a genius. I do think the entire KidSuper environment and everything we were doing at the store helped lead to it. All the tables are made from doors we found in a friends basement, the banner is made from an old tarp, the art work is all done by my friends and I. Everything was just meshed together to show that we did it all from scraps and that anything is possible. That is what Kid Super is all about. The whole line is pretty creative and I hope everyone likes it.
What are some of your next few goals with KidSuper?
KidSuper becoming KidSuper Studios. Focusing on music, art, design, advertisements and more, it will be a hub for NYC creativity!
As for your personal style, in addition to KidSuper what else can we see you decked out in?
When I was in high school I told myself I would never buy another t-shirt that wasn’t my own. I have kept that pretty well haha. I do support brands that I see took a good amount of time, work and detail to make their designs. I don’t support something because it is just a font with some cool words. Which I do admit I have done before but for branding haha you won’t see that again. I guess as my designs change my style does too. I don’t know, I’m really not a style icon, but maybe I should become one.
Everything you have shared with us has been really inspiring. What would you say to those who want to start their own line?
For people starting a brand…practice. Release a shirt, if it works then keep going. If it doesn’t work, change it up and keep going. I really think consistency and perseverance is what makes it happen. If you try enough times people are going to catch on. Also, have a skill and get good with it before putting all of your efforts in. People respect talent and drive.