LOCAL TALENT: Kings Ambition
Worldwide, shoppers are embracing all things street, and edgy urbanwear has seen a huge spike in sales. Dubai, however, has been a little slower of the mark. In the past few years things have been picking up pace with the likes of Dubai Design District, and the growth of both Al Serkal and Sole DXB, benefiting the creative scene.
Ross Mackay launched one of Dubai’s home-grown streetwear brands, Kings Ambition, in 2013. He’s come a long way since he moved here from a small town in Scotland three years ago, and though his feet may be clad in rare sneakers, as we found out, they’re firmly on the ground.
Why Kings Ambition?
The name Kings Ambition is all about Dubai coming from being a desert to the city we see today. A king and his ambition to grow this, to me and my ambition to work hard. I’m definitely going to push “born in Dubai” a lot more. In places like Colette in Paris, if you saw a Dubai brand it’s definitely unique so we need to push that.
Do you have to balance the Dubai trends with those in the likes of Paris and London?
For sure, I also think people have negative connotations associated with Dubai, the gold Lamborghinis, the oil, the ‘ballers’. You have to balance that so you don’t present yourself as a materialistic brand.
It must be a tough balance between what you like and what the market wants?
Yeah – that’s definitely a battle, designing for other people. The market here is very graphic, they like the snapbacks and print stuff, but honestly moving into my next collection it’s going to be more what I would wear. I don’t really wear big prints, I like slightly longer cut, slightly baggier tees and stuff like that. We’ll concentrate on detailed pieces that you’ll see in a few months.
Dubai’s quite a unique market, what sort of challenges does that throw up?
We don’t have that element of street culture yet. It’s certainly emerging, but Dubai is very adoptive, it adopts aspects from many different cities. I think the home-grown street culture that places like London, Paris and Amsterdam have, we don’t have yet. That’s not to say it’s not coming, with events like Sole DXB and things like that, but it’s still backwards in that element.
Tell us a bit about the collection coming in Spring/Summer?
I’m now moving into more minimalistic but detailed pieces. I’m definitely going to grow the product range – coach jackets, field jackets, jeans. In August we drop the whole collection, then repeat the process for the next season.
We’re going to shoot the look book here. Without giving too much away, we’re going to bring in models from different cities and base it off the style of the new collection – victory, triumph, almost army style, cultish. I want to make it really into contemporary menswear, I want people to see it and recognise it as Kings Ambition.
Streetwear is quite adrongenous, are you going to put out a women's collection?
In the summer we’ll be doing refitting for girls too. I have a huge female market. Girls love to wear guy's T-shirts and oversized shirts like Givenchy. I’ve had some feedback that if the sizing was just a little different it would be perfect so we’re going to do that. Pieces like the bomber; even in a small size is too big for most girls.
What about current trends you wish would die?
That red shirt thing that les artistes were doing and now everyone is pushing. I liked it, but people just keep doing it. You always have your trendsetters and eh the people that follow. It’s hard to be a trendsetter but if you stay on your own path that’s great. For every trend there’s people that like it and people that don’t.
Shop KingsAmbition at www.kingsambition.com