King of Nothing

Published:  May 6, 2010
Brendan McKnight
King of Nothing

Have you ever had the dream to throw all caution to the wind and start up your own clothing brand? Claudia Tadman and Jimmy Baxter did just that, and lets just say they are doing pretty great things and are flying the flag proudly for quality Australian design.

Their street wear brand, King of Nothing sets itself apart by collaborating with up and coming artists as guest designers for their collections that have been perfectly designed to work, play, paint, skate, date and create in. Hell, we are pretty sure you could do most things in this getup.

Series One, King of Nothing’s first full range of signature pieces will be showcased at the Sydney Fashion Forward Festival being held  7 – 9 May at Paddington Town Hall and then will be coming to a store near you.

We caught up with Claudia and Jimmy to chew the fat and find out a little bit more..


Hi Claudia and Jimmy, thanks for talking with us. So, what’s your story?
Claudia: A chance meeting in a Perth Post Office brought us together nearly 4 years ago. A shared passion for travel, handmade stickers, photography, art and all things creative has kept us together since. Being from opposite sides of the Globe, Jimmy from Perth and myself from London, we spent time in Europe before settling in Sydney. Before King of Nothing (KON) we had both been searching for something to satisfy our creative natures and after months of talking about it and mulling over ideas, KON was born!


What inspired you to start the King of Nothing label?
Jimmy: Passion for original art was the main inspiration for the label. There are so many brands out there ripping images from the internet or reproducing an iconic photograph and whacking it on a tee. We wanted to create something more than that. Something new and artist based.
C: Its always been a dream for both of us to have our business and be our own boss doing something that we love. KON allows us to do that.


King of Nothing works with up and coming artists to provide them with a platform for their art. How did you come up with this concept and why?
J: Lots of labels produce  ‘artist series’ collaborations with artists that already get a lot of exposure and have a core following, which equals guaranteed sales. We move to present the opportunity for relatively unknown artists to display their work. This is more of a gamble but something we feel strongly about. There are so many talented artists slugging it out, perfecting their craft, flying under the public radar. It’s great to be able to get them out there to a broader audience than would otherwise be exposed to.


What was your process for choosing the artists/designs in Series One?
J: Some of the artists I grew up with like Prez Juan, from Perth. When we were developing the brand he was someone that I naturally thought of to be a part of the label. From sketchbooks to walls, customising kicks and trucker hats, I have watched his skills evolve over the years into the clean and fluid style it is now. Others we have met along the way who have shared our ideals and we have since contacted to see if they would be interested in being a part of the KON family!
C: Now we even have young up and comings approaching us and it’s great to know that other people appreciate what we are doing and want to be a part of journey.


How would you describe the overall design philosophy for King of Nothing?
J: King of Nothing is a melting pot of culture, drawing inspiration from Street, Surf and Skate lifestyles. We have made the decision not to pigeonhole ourselves into just one genre. We aim to create wearable artworks from a variety of artist’s disciplines, bringing together aspects from all our influences into one forum. The design philosophy is simple… Quality, Wearable, Limited, Fresh!

What can people expect from the Series One range? How did you come up with what you wanted to include?
C: We initially tested the water this summer with a t-shirt range and Series One has grown from that. Based around a solid core of artist print tees we have developed to range into include wearable items that surpass fad trends.
J: We are not trying to create cutting edge new styles, rather quality apparel that you work, play, paint, skate, date and create in. Series One will introduce heavy weight hoods and crew neck jumpers into the range, alongside classic flannel shirts, and a denim collection. We are also proud to have collaborated with prestigious New Era to produce some 59fifty flatbrims.
C: We will also be introducing the KON Jewellery Collection. These pieces are hand made by myself in various metals and are seriously limited!


Where did the name King of Nothing come from?
J: I came up with the name ‘King of Nothing’ from the age old saying ‘jack of all trades master of none’. After a year of intense study, work and many years of being broke it was a sentiment I could really relate to. I’ve always had a passionate nature and have thrown myself head first into all my Loves; Skating, Surfing, Graffiti, Travel, Fashion, Music and Art. However, until now I’ve never been quite able to fully commit to just one. King of Nothing is my way of combining all the things that define me without having to sacrifice anything along the way.


What are your plans for growing the brand/world domination?
C: With the official launch of Series One we hope to build a brand presence on the streets and with people in the industry. There is a tendency with us to want to run before we can walk, but we want to make sure we keep the product top quality and build the range at steady rate. Within the next 6 months we want to have all production 100% Australian. Designing and making the denim range it shocked us how much production has gone off shore and it is sad to see the fashion industry is dying in Australia, all to make a fast buck. The support we have received from Aussie manufactures has been amazing and we want to reward that with continued support even if it means less profit. We also hope to open a store/studio space within the year to showcase the KON range alongside other emerging brands and artist’s work. We aspire to continue to build our stockists and approach international buyers so everyone can have a little KON in their life!

The Search For Nothing Continues…

Series One, launches at aMBUSH Gallery, Sydney, on Thursday 13 May.

4 Responses

  1. cat

    nice. very inspiring. where is the girls stuff though?!

  2. bOb

    great that you guys are aiming for a 100% australian production. nice to hear! american apparel did it with 100% usa production, and so can you!

  3. JessicaL

    erm who is the guy with the long hair. HOT

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