By Kim McKenna
When sibling-run business KillJoss first began, they had no idea just how successful their brand was going to be.
KillJoss started as a fashion blog, but it wasn’t long before the Ritchie trio’s label rapidly expanded, and they began designing and selling clothes in the UK, USA and Canada. Youngest brother Gerard runs the design team, creating the unique style on each individual t-shirt. Ryan runs the business’ website and blog, whilst eldest sister Stephanie organises and snaps the photoshoots, ensuring every little bit of KillJoss magic is captured on camera.
Their style is heavily inspired by Glasgow and London street style, producing themes such as “Let us be young”, “Wasted youth” and “Bucks Kid”.
Gerard explains: “We decided to start KillJoss as we wanted a break from the norm, we knew what we wanted to wear ourselves but we could not find it, so we made it. We represent a fast growing culture of creatively beautiful youth, we want to show our lives on clothing. We were inspired by the huge increase in local and online street wear brands. We loved seeing the small unknown brands that we purchased from grow and grow and we knew we could make a unique range and start our very own online brand.”
The siblings are keen to maintain their true identities, stating: “KillJoss want to remain independent and in control of all aspects of the brand and lifestyle blog. We have seen many brands lose their identity for “fame” so if we can continue the way we are with the people we love then that’s our goal.”
The range has become increasingly popular recently, and has even seen the likes of Jay Camilleri (from E4′s Dirty Sexy Things) and Topman model Ricki Hall, sporting their gear. In 2012, KillJoss made it to Newcastle Fashion Week’s Spring/Summer collection.
The Ritchie’s understand the importance of serious career decision-making, and are keen to share their success story so that others may follow in their footsteps: “Having our own brand is greatly rewarding. What’s better than being able to wear your very own design? It allows us to design pieces that the high street doesn’t offer and sell these garments to those customers of a similar style and want. The most rewarding side however is seeing people around the world wearing our garments. It’s the best feeling!”
The KillJoss trio would like to encourage all Futures Fest goers to seriously consider a career in the fashion industry, whether that is in retail or right in the midst of the designing process: “The best advice to people looking to begin a career in this industry, is simply – go for it. Go into everything head on and with full passion. It takes a lot of time so dedication is crucial but the rewards can be amazing. Stick to your ideas and keep your brand identity at all times.”
The KillJoss dream is to see Rihanna or Lana Del Ray rocking one of their tee’s, and we’re confident that dream will become a reailty. The sky’s the limit!
Visit Futures Fest on the 18th & 19th March in The Arches and hear from fashion industry leaders Topshop and independent fashion label Isolated Heroes.