Need To Know: Chrystie NYC
Founded in 2016, Chrystie NYC is a dynamic skate brand that also incorporates elements of photography and soccer. Founder Pep Kim moved to New York from Korea, as a result of a fortuitous invitation from ICP (International Center of Photography). Once he arrived, he dovetailed seamlessly between the worlds of soccer and skateboarding before launching his own brand. The most refreshing aspect about Chrystie NYC is it’s no-frills approach and community-driven aesthetic—a combination that makes it cool and relevant with ever pandering or trying to be the next “it” label. See our interview with Pep below:
How does Chrystie NYC combine your passions of soccer, skateboarding and video/photography?
I started the brand with the idea of creating something rooted in the downtown skate scene. But the brand is named after the street Chrystie where there are two soccer fields I play on. The brand is also a good platform where I can keep creating photo/video content. So in a way, the brand really projects my overall lifestyle.
What’s the biggest change between the early years of your brand versus now?
The biggest change is that I started the project as a small sock brand but now it's a full clothing brand. We focused on the skate market in the beginning, but we try not to be blindfolded to only that market these days. People in fashion are trying to be affiliated with skateboarding and kids skateboarding are interested in vintage clothes and expensive shoes. The border between all these lanes is getting more vague.
There are several really cool streetwear brands from Korea right now (thisisneverthat, We11done, etc). Are you interested/influenced by what’s happening on that scene?
Not really. But I do admire all brands no matter how cool they are or not, cause it’s hard to build your own system regardless. I’m well connected with people doing brands out there, but I still don't really care about clothing too much. Most of my inspirations come from art movements, furniture and movies. But I like Heritage Floss a lot in Seoul. Their physical store projects the brand concept really well. Their director has a very good taste.
What would you say are the core staples that customers love your brand for?
Our "Less is more/better” aesthetic. There's a lot of brands killing it with their inside jokes or hilarious graphics which is dope, but I don't pursue that direction.
Lastly, any cool collabs/projects coming for 2021 you can share with us?
We are working on a bag collaboration project. The travel bag is really cool and perfect for a week or 10 days skate trip. Hope Covid-19 is over soon.
Shop the entire Chrystie NYC Collection here.