BBC Style Crusaders – “Vintage Flavor” of Knuckleheads
Boys are no longer the forgotten gender when it comes to children’s wear. The market, “notoriously limited for boys’ clothing”* is rapidly changing thanks to a spate of cool boys-only apparel brands from designers or parents-turned-designers who wanted something “different”, something cooler and more sophisticated than the drab boring boy’s corner in the back of the store had to offer.
These designers managed to nail this “something different” that boys’ parents kept asking for in the children’s boutiques: the clothes that bridge the casual and dressed aesthetics, the finer details, the better fit and sewing, something other than basic jeans and cords… In brief words, great fashion items at an awesome price.
These brands, these designers are the Style Crusaders on a mission to change the bleak landscape of the boys’ fashion, to root out the stale gender stereotypes and make boys fashion fun, not just a plain necessity. We, boys’ parents need to know our heroes, these cool brands on the forefront of the style battle. In Boys Be Cool Style Crusaders series we will profile brands and designers, whose vision, creativity and originality contributed to the great change in the boys’ fashion.
Knuckleheads was among the first brands that stepped into the unknown territory of cool boys’ clothes in 2004. The line whose simple, “no fuss” silhouettes, clean lines and cool vintage vibe earned it a loyal A-list celebrity parents’ following (including Madonna, Brangelina, Gwen Stefani, Christina Aguilera, Sandra Bullock, Kevin Costner, Britney Spears…just to name a few) is a love child of Melissa and Trent Nash, cool husband & wife dynamic duo (the best partnership and a recipe for success, if you ask me).
The life-changing aha-moment happened when Melissa Nash was looking for the vintage patterns on E-Bay, her husband suggested she sewed some coveralls to go over the little dude’s clothes, when he was spending quality time in his Daddy’s custom motorcycle shop. Talk about cool to the bone! Excited, they brainstormed the list of items that were not available in kids’ sizes and came up with 3 pieces in cool 50-s greaser vibe mixed with Dennis the Menace: the grease monkey coveralls, Greaser Jeans and a mechanics jacket. These three styles gave the newborn line the unique start it needed to stand out. The orders came flooding in and the rest is history.
The pint size inspiration behind the mischievous, instantly recognized Knuckleheads’ “mohawk head” logo was actually born with a mohawk, so real that people thought his hair was cut this way on purpose. Knuckleheads, an old- school name for a rebellious child or a person fitted the customer’ profile perfectly - a real boy, who plays hard and gets dirty but has this irresistibly charming, sweet boy look about him.
The couple’s kids are the inspiration and an indispensable part of the design process. They test-drive every design and if it doesn’t get their approval, it gets chucked. Kids love hanging out in company’s warehouse, which houses a skateboard ramp (actively used by the little and big boys alike) and the 50-s camper trailer.
50-s and 60-s provide an endless inspiration source for KH design duo. Melissa favors simple, classic style, spiced up with the Knuckleheads’ unique vintage flavor, free of fuss and embellishments.
Melissa’s fascination with subcultures and a rockabilly crowd is responsible for the line’s wildly popular rockabilly snap shirts, that look so clean cut and sharp on a little boy without a hint of stuffiness. Another signature piece, we’ve seen on almost every celebrity kid on earth are the legendary James Dean-ish Greaser jeans, the beloved bottoms of the kids’ fashion magazines editors. These classic jeans with rolled-up cuffs, available in indigo, black and gray wash are an epitome of the 50-s’ rebellious spirit.
|Rockabully New Wave||Greaser Jeans||Gutterball Primo|
The cool vintage vibe of KH clothes is artfully created through the mix of vintage patterns and new fabrics, modern spin put on traditional pieces, such as bowling shirts, cut slightly slimmer for a more refined fit and interesting details. The cool underwear sets inspired by a retro brand Skivvies and named after it; get a new life, reinvented in new colors and modern silhouettes.
Adepts of the 50’s minimalistic color palette Knuckleheads’ design duo usually shies away from the bright colors, but they changed this tune for the upcoming Spring 2011 collection, which was inspired mostly by color. Expect to see a lot of celery green. Also, we can always count on Melissa’s incurable obsession with stripes to produce cool striped knits for every collection.
And this is a secret ingredient of the Knuckleheads recipe for success. They don’t look at the mainstream for the inspiration, they don’t follow the trends, and they remain true to their roots, to the cultural heritage that inspires them, to their unique aesthetics. They don’t try too hard to be cool. It happens naturally, just like the naturally born mohawk.
The prices for the Knuckleheads clothes might be quite steep for the tcash strapped stylistas. In this case flash sales sites to the rescue! Theminisocial.com, for example had very decent Knuckleheads selection at more than reasonable prices less than 2 weeks ago. So, stay tuned for our daily updates, if you want to catch the sale wave
Now, we have 2 sets of the iconic Skivvies to give away courtesy Knuckleheads. Available in sizes 6-12 months up through 8 years. The winners will pick the size.
We won’t try to invent the bicycle for the entry rules. They are basically the same for all giveaways.
Comment on this post. Don’t forget your e-mail address so we can contact you if you win.
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Deadline for entries is Tuesday the 14th at 6pm EST- We will select a winner using Random.org and notify them via email!