We caught up with Instagrammer Kimberly to talk style, her own brand, and staying strong.
Meet The Team:
Styling & Creative Direction: Samantha Ria
Photographer: Jack Alexander
Hair Stylist: Kayleigh Jane
Interview by Johnson Gold.
Special thanks to the Courthouse Hotel, Shoreditch
So Kimberly tell me about you, your name is Kimberly but your Instagram is @kimberlyskinny?
This is a funny question, people are always wondering why. I am always wearing oversized tops so people tend to forget that I am skinny and the thing is when I was younger everyone was like ‘oh you’re so skinny’ and I was like ‘I know right!’. This is my body! Now, because my style changed and I wear oversized clothes I don’t want people to think that I am hiding myself or anything.
So you are making a statement?
Yeah like Kimberly is Skinny.
So you’re owning it!
Yeah, I’m owning the fact! It’s not because I want to hide myself or anything just because I like oversized stuff.
When I was younger I was only wearing oversized clothes because I was a tomboy and I was always with my older brother playing video games, skateboarding and playing basketball. I was just a tomboy with no style. Later, I wanted to explore my feminine side so this is when I started to experiment with more girly clothes. I was in a group of girls and I was the last one to have a boyfriend and I couldn’t go to any parties because of my style. So I started wearing dresses, skirts and skinny jeans and this type of stuff and I felt that I was fitting in with this group of friends. Then I just realised I could mix both! I don’t have to be a girl for socialising and just a tomboy at home. I can mix it and become what I really want to be.
Tell me about your career.
I don’t even know how it started. I just wanted to cultivate my style and I was posting my pictures on Instagram and everything happened organically; I didn’t search for anything. People started to text me like ‘hey Kimberly, I’ve been seeing you for a while and what you’re doing is dope’ and I was like ‘what am I doing?’ except dressing myself. It first started with ASOS and Reebok. These were the first ones who noticed me and then I started getting gifted by brands. It became really serious three years ago. I was working full time for Uniqlo as a Design Merchandiser but then I couldn’t handle my full-time job and my Instagram on the side, I had to choose between one of them and I quit my job. I woke up early and I slept late!
When did you have time to shoot when you were working full time?
I worked 7-3 so I still had time to create content after work. After work I would just be calling my friends ‘What’s up? I have three outfits to do, are you in town?’ and I just dress myself and do my stuff in different spots because it still has to be done and I like things to be very precise and how I want it to be so I don’t want it to be wasted or like you did it fast I want it to be well done so it was a mess.
How has living in Paris influenced your style?
You hear a lot saying that there is a Parisian style, but I am not the typical Parisian stylet. I am inspired by my life and the people surrounding me and even the fashion industry abroad.
People don’t specifically inspire the way I dress but I can get inspired if I see some tips, like a way of wearing something that I didn’t know before. I am so bad at following trends and brands, so when people are asking me for some favourite brands I am like let me just think about it because I try to just keep my eyes on it but not let myself to be influenced by it.
I don’t have any favourites but I love Asian brands a lot. I feel like details and the way they design is advanced. Simple but yet efficient. I like ungendered style as well.
Tell us about your brand.
My collection, it’s not a brand yet, it’s GYD. Stands for Get Your Dose because it’s all about getting your dose of good energies, good vibes. Obviously because my clothes are unique pieces if you don’t get your dose, you won’t get any!
How did you start your brand?
I’m a fan of the process, of the creative process more than the result or the same as the result. I need to create and be enhanced. I need to do something for me, when I’ve done this, this challenge is done and on to the next. It’s for my personal satisfaction and I am happy about it.
How has the reception been?
It’s insane because I haven’t done any advertising but people are loving it. That’s crazy because I wanted to create something for the community, that’s why I took people of colour from my Instagram because I wanted to create something you can relate to and just to build our uniqueness and the way we live. I got someone from Nike LA editorial who asked me for samples and Tyga’s Stylists requested items for fashion week. He didn’t wear it though, but still!
I feel like you know style and you have your own vision and you know what you like so it just made sense for you to go into designing.
Yes I think so. I was in the market with my mum all day just to find the perfect pattern I was looking for. I am not a professional, I don’t know how to draw, I don’t know how to do everything but ideas were in my head. Even with the team, it wasn’t easy because I have to explain myself, it has to be done the way I want it. I am still learning but I am pretty happy about the result, I am blessed you know. I feel like the way I am going is the way that I have to go. No other way, no plan B. For my life I said no plan B only plan A.
What advice would you give to young people, that want to start their own brand?
Just got for it. Don’t give a fuck just do you. When I was younger being a tomboy was shit and I was like oh you look like a guy, when I was putting on a dress I was like oh you look like a hoe. Just do you because people will always say something. Own it. I think that people don’t want to dare anymore because of the way that they will be perceived by other people, by the society.
Use what you have with what you can.
That’s the sentence! People are like, when they see my Instagram, ‘oh you’re rich’, ‘oh you have this way of life’. Bruv when I started my Instagram I was thrifting. It’s a ten euro outfit you are seeing right now! I’m always budgeting, I am not the type of girl who is doing things for the clout. Even with that, people were like that’s cool so let’s send her some stuff and then you level up.
That’s the real way of doing it.
That’s how you can differentiate the people who are doing it through passion and the ones who just want the vibes, the clout and the trends.
How do you stay strong?
I stay strong because I was weak before. But this toughness came from all the dark shit, all the people saying you can’t do it, all these things.
You’ve done campaigns, you’ve worked with big brands..
What you are saying is mad because I was the type of girl, I was wearing my GAP sweater when I was back in school and I was wearing my Reebok shoes and I was keeping the shoes for years because my mum couldn’t afford any clothes so I was wearing my brothers clothes. I was this person when I was younger and when I was younger I was like when I grow up I will get everything I want for free and look now. This is crazy right. This is God working. I am humble, I am thankful for all of this because I am aware that is a huge thing to be able to have all you want for free, working with the best brands and this is a dream coming true.
Where do you want to go next, 2019 is nearly finished what are your goals for 2020?
I want to be taken seriously. I don’t have any precise stuff at the moment, my list is long I am just picking. Sometimes I think I am overthinking about everything that I want to do. I’m pretty sure that life will bring something exciting!