Yung Creatives is a series profiling talents of tomorrow across various fields, disciplines and mediums. Skilled in commerce and creativity, find out why these guys are generating significant buzz in the industry.
In a society obsessed with designer patterns and logos, Kelley Hice, creator of Super Kreep, takes the lead on reconstructed designer pieces. Sourcing from only genuine materials from brands like Louis Vuitton and Gucci, Kelley is catching the attention of some of the biggest stars in the game — and he’s doing everything himself.
Having created pieces for artists from Rihanna to Young Thug, this Detroit native sets his brand apart from others by focusing on the importance of authentic materials. While bootlegging fabrics may be an easier find for the creator, he explains, “It's far more charming showcasing my craftsmanship with authentic materials.”
With a client list that resembles your “recently played” playlist and countless one-of-a-kind pieces from a Gucci skateboard to a LV basketball (our favorite), Super Kreep has the music and fashion worlds buzzing.
We caught up with Kelley to chat about his creative process, how music influences his art, and how he keeps his work unique.
Where are you from and where are you currently living?
I'm from Detroit, living in New York.
Does your background influence your work?
Very much so, Detroit has shaped my personal style a lot, but I pull inspiration from film and music too. I've always looked up to my dad and uncle's sense of fashion as well.
When did you first get into fashion? Do you remember your first grail?
I started Skateboarding in middle school and that's when I really became conscious of my personal style. I was exposed to so many styles from all over through skate videos and magazines. That also opened me up to traveling and finding out about a lot of new music. I grew up in the hood, but I was really into punk too. So my style always been very versatile. First grails were OG jordan 1's or My first Buffs (Cartier Glasses). Both of those were really special to me.
What was the first piece you ever created?
When I first hit high school my mom had showed me how to tailor my jeans to fit skinny, that was my only training. After that I'd just thrift gear I liked. Take it apart and make new garments. First pieces I created that made some noise were these leather Champion basketball jerseys and these MCM bucket hats I was making from deconstructed garment bags. I got those on Big Sean, Dej Loaf, a couple other Detroit rappers and Rick Ross.
From the time I had first started the brand I would thrift designer vintage, always authentic - there was this sensation of finding pieces in the thrift and bringing them back to life that I loved. So, these designer textiles became my paints for the compositions I wanted to create, and they really sensationalize whatever garment or silhouette I wanted to construct. So I started taking apart common pieces and remaking them with the designer fabrics. I never bootlegged anything per say, it was always reconstructing outdated authentic, original pieces. I was finding Gucci, YSL, Versace, Hermes, Chanel, MCM, then once I moved to New York, Brian from the store Procell had given me a denim Louis Vuitton handbag to create with. That's when I first fell in love with using Louis Vuitton denims.
The fashion community on Instagram is thriving. How do you separate yourself from other people doing what you do?
Instagram is an amazing platform to share work as an artist. Three major things kind of define my current work. I see my work as fine art, but it's fully wearable and functional. I make pieces intended to be worn and lived in, at a quality to develop even more charm with age.
Everything I make is directly from deconstructed- Authentic original garments. Authentic Sourcing is really important to me.
And everything I release is done myself. From the initial conceptual design, to sourcing the textiles, breaking down the garments, creating my patterns, all preparation and sewing in the construction of the final product, to shooting the photos after.
Outside of that, I think we are all pretty aware of other artists' work and try to keep everything unique and progressive.
We've seen a handful of kids creating Gucci and Louis Vuitton pieces from fake materials. Why do you use authentic materials when you could easily (and more cheaply) buy fake Louis Vuitton monogram fabric by the yard?
At the end of the day, what makes me most happy with my work is the progression of my craftsmanship, and advancing my skill sets. To use bootleg fabric would just take away from the credibility and authenticity of my designs. Using authentic materials also makes it really tough to recreate because the pieces I use are so expensive and rare.
I want people to wear my stuff and feel confident wearing it. All these logo based products and designer inspired bootleg clothes are visually appealing and fun to wear, but when someone asks if my product is fake or bootleg, my customer can comfortably reply this is a Super Kreep product - constructed from all authentic materials. It's far more charming showcasing my craftsmanship with authentic materials.
We love the LV basketball -- can you break down the full process for us?
I had been wanting to do a basketball for a while, then a good friend of mine asked me to make a piece for his store, and I just went for it. It's a fairly easy construction and is fully functional. Can't give away any secrets, but I do occasionally show insights to my process on my Instagram stories. My shoe making definitely requires the most knowledge, skill and precision though.
How and where do you sell your creations?
For the most part, my current work I just create in order to make my ideas or visions reality. My focus is the composition more than the sale. I have a lil online store that I sell vintage pieces on, and occasionally put pieces I've made up for sale there. I take on commissioned work and have a clientele that I like to work with too. I can conceptualize a piece, source the necessary materials then pitch the idea to my collectors. Retail sales are tough, because of my overhead costs and time spent on each piece. So it's hard to split profits in a retail setting unless I pushed my prices up really high.
I'm in two stores currently though, The Good Company and Procell. They both supported me and inspired me so much in my development and those are my friends. I feel they are the best outlets and I'm honored to have them represent my work in New York City.
Rihanna, Drake, Young Thug, and DJ Khaled rock your gear. How do you get Super Kreep on to celebs?
That's all Manifestation and blessings. Music inspires my work so much. I always picture artists wearing my creations, and see those pieces take on a whole new life. One of my newest pairs of pants I jokingly said, "these look like some pants Tyga would wear," and he reached out to me the next day outta nowhere.
My best friend is a personal stylist and consultant that works with a few rappers, and I credit him for a good amount of placement. Chris Smokes believed in my art from the very beginning and always represented me when he was dealing with other artists. My other placements came from living in New York, you casually bump into so many artists and get seen by other stylists or tastemakers. More and more people would see my work in person and reach out to me to pull clothes for shoots or performances. The Riri thing was crazy, I had basically kept bumping into one of her stylists, and I would be wearing pieces I made. When I released my first capsule at Vfiles he copped a piece for her.
Like I said though, getting the pieces to certain people isn't my focus. I just put out the best work I can, so if opportunities arise, I feel confident in the pieces I can offer.
Speaking of musicians, who are you listening to right now?
Music and fashion are so parallel. I listen to what's newest and hottest. I look for new music everyday. It's vital for my production. This week it's Tay K, Carti, Fauni and Nudy.
Young Thug, Drake, and Travis Scott are Staples too. I love production though - producers really inspire me -Pi'erre Bourne, Mexiko Dro, and Metro are my favorites. I listen to a lot of Detroit rap too -- GT, Babyface Ray, Doughboyz, Dex and Blade.
Art or design?
My favorite current design is Virgil , Demna, and Gosha. They are telling the best story to me and making the most fun clothes to wear. Heron Preston, Stray Rats and Dertbag are my favorite underground design though.
As far as art, Warhol and Basquiat are the realest to constant inspiration. Contemporary though, Shawn Powers is always killing it. Doodookaka, my other best friend does embroidery and some apparel construction too. Working out of the same studio, his consistency and energy really help me remain focused and progressive.
What are your goals for the future?
My only goal is to be happy, continue progressing, and make enough noise to get the attention of bigger brands or artists in order to possibly create with them via consulting, creative direction, or actual hands-on sampling and design.
For more Yung Creatives, check out Dani Roche, the graphic designer changing the game when it comes to outerwear.