INTRODUCING LITTLE GIANTS: DOPE STREETWEAR FOR MIGHTY KIDS
Don’t get it twisted, Little Giants is not just in this for the money—the broad vision of this Brooklyn-based brand is way more expansive. In the specialized lane of dope streetwear for kids, Little Giants is definitely one of the industry’s leaders. Their designs are always fresh and on-trend, and the heavy Hip-Hop influence exhibited in their apparel never feels forced or inauthentic. We spoke with the brand’s founder Ivan Rivera about the brand’s dynamic DNA and how they plan to keep the culture alive with their continuing growth.
Can you tell us how Little Giants started and your original vision for the brand?
The catalyst of the brand was actually tied with the birth of our son, Knowledge. In doing preparatory shopping for his arrival, we couldn't find much in the space that resonated with us and was in line with the culture, our views and things that we were passionate about. So we started making joints of our own just for him at first and it slowly spread to other like-minded parents who liked what we were doing. It's been our grind and labor of love ever since. My original vision for the brand is actually what we're working towards now. There are a lot of really good independent streetwear and skate brands that we have followed and been active fans and supporters of that have laid the blueprint. We're just trying to take that and apply it in our industry or sub-genre.
How does the design and creative process go for your offerings; is it a team effort or do you handle all of it?
We're a really small team (looking to grow this year for sure), so we all wear multiple hats and share mad responsibilities. So while the hat of creative director may be "worn" by me, it's really a team effort. I do much of the ideation and Chad (part of our core team) is able to turn those things to life for us. Also we have colleagues & friends that are wild talented who help us in our efforts with collabs and such. Artists/Friends such as David Park, Cleofus, TTK, and Jacinta Conza have held us down, and continue to do so.
From your designs, it's clear that Hip-Hop is a major influence for Little Giants. Can you speak on that and your other main inspirations?
Yeah for sure, if there were 4 columns that we stand on, they are: The multiple manifestations of Hip-Hop, Street Culture and Art, Streetwear, and Skate Culture/Fashion.
Our brand is influenced completely by the things and cultures we were raised in to things we are currently into. So at any given time, you'll find influences ranging from Golden Era Hip-Hop, to Knowledge of Self, Powell Peralta, to Sheff G and more.
2020 was a very tough year for many small businesses because of the pandemic. How have things been for you during this period and how has your community/customers supported you?
2020 was disastrous for us and we took many L's and have struggled and are still struggling like most of us. We almost didn't make it through, but we're here, still alive and kicking, and looking forward to grinding and building back to be better and stronger than ever. Honestly we still only exist because of the community support and our diehard loyal customer. Brooklyn specifically, New York City as a whole, and the entire tri-state really held us down, as well as our day ones and people who’ve been rocking with us for the longest. We’re super grateful and thankful for every single one of our customers and honored for our products to be worn and enjoyed by their children.
Lastly, what's in store for the future—any dope collabs and collections coming up that you can share with us?
We have a lot in store for the future. First is our brick and mortar store in LA, that's a project that's been in the works for sometime now (before Covid) and we're all super-hyped and excited to finally be opening soon. It's going to be soo lit. There's a second floor that will serve as an art space showcasing both adult and youth/children artists from and of the culture. There's a big big collab we have in the works that I just can't speak on. And us (Complex and Little Giants) are going to cook up a few dope collabs with a few brands/companies that no one is expecting. I'm excited for it all: a New Year, New Vibes, and New Opps. And by that we mean new OPPortunities!
Shop the entire Little Giants collection here.