Name: Blake Ricciardi
Position: Kazbah Director for Karmaloop.com
-Can you give a brief description of the kazbah?
The Kazbah is a new section of Karmaloop.com that features emerging underground brands. The brands on the Kazbah are boutique-style brands that are selected by the Karmaloop staff. A lot of people want to wear what others aren’t wearing just yet. Karmaloop has been providing that for years, and now the Kazbah features even niched, more indie labels, our customers are guaranteed to be wearing something unique and fresh. To quote one of our Kazbah brands, Complete Technique, “We are on the Kazbah because it puts people on to what’s next.”
-Should we expect any exclusives or special releases through the KAZBAH in the near future?
Without a doubt. I have already discussed creating exclusive Karmaloop Kazbah-only colorways and styles with a lot of different brands. A lot of the Kazbah-only gear will be limited edition as well. It’s coming soon!
Left: T-Shirt by Hecklewood Right: T-Shirt by D.A.D.E
-How are the brands selected? What are the criteria?
On Karmaloop we have incredible, well-established, quality brands like LRG, Artful Dodger, Obey and so many more. The Kazbah brands are now on the same site as those brands so quality is most important to us. That includes both quality of the garment and quality of the designs. When our customer buys something from Karmaloop, the customer expects a great product and great customer service. If a brand can’t provide both elements, we don’t consider them for the Kazbah.
We are also investing in these fresh brands and the people that run the brands, so it is very important that we work with hungry, innovative people that have passion for what they’re producing. I want the lines to grow with Karmaloop, so it is important that we choose brands that have a lot of potential. And the bottom line: their sh%t need to be dope!
-What’s next? Any new brands coming up that you’re really excited about; can you give us a hint?
Wow…so many new brands are coming. It is incredible the massive amount of talent that is out there that is just looking for a forum to be heard and seen. The Kazbah provides that for them. It will be impossible for any streetwear buyer to go to the Kazbah and not find one product that they are feelin and honestly, they are gonna find way more than just one.
Hints….nope, no hints just keep visiting the site to see what’s next!
Left: T-Shirt by Bean Dip Right: T-Shirt Fedi
-I know you just launched but how was the response from people so far?
Response has been bananas. Our customers have been incredibly receptive. For instance, CLH sold over 400 hoodies in less than two weeks on the Kazbah! Each day, so many of the brands are selling multiple tees or hoodies or bags. It has really opened up our customers’ eyes to all of these incredible underground brands.
-Can you highlight some of your favorite items that are currently being sold through the Kazbah?
There are certain items that, when I see them, I say “This is Kazbah.” In other words, a certain product defines what the Kazbah is all about. For example, Soulful Commandoe, a brand out of Cali, just dropped this hoodie their Robot hoodie for the holiday season. It is one of the illest hoodies I have seen in a while, and it is going to be sold on the Kazbah. When our customers see that item they are going to flip! It has a “bronze reversible metal zipper in front and back and can be unzipped apart from the other half and connect to other SFC Zip-away hoodies”. You can check it out here: http://www.karmaloop.com/kazbah-products.asp?ProductID=17839&VendorCode=SOUKB Karmaloop customers probably never would have even seen that hoodie, but they can find it on the Kazbah.
We also have this line that just dropped called Fedi. Its just one designer, a guy who is putting out his first line. He runs every part of the biz himself from concepts, to designing, to funding it, to shipping etc. Well, he submitted to the Kazbah, we were into his tees, so he is one of the newest Kazbah brands! To me, that’s what it is all about. One dude, with talent, passion and a concept is now selling his work on karmaloop.com.
I can’t say I have favorite brands, though. I really feel they all bring something unique to the site or they wouldn’t be on the Kazbah.
Left: T-Shirt by Kiser Right: T-Shirt by Soulfoul Commandoe
-Anything else you want to say?
Thanks for asking to do this interview. Anyone that is willing to create and maintain a blog has my respect. You do a great job with Addicteed!
Also….if you want to submit your brand to the Kazbah go to www.karmaloop.com/kazbahsubmit.
If you want to shop on the Kazbah go to www.karmaloop.com/kazbah