REGGIEKNOW AKA FASHION FIGURE STYLIST INTERVIEW
REGGIEKNOW is an accomplished chief creative officer in advertising and marketing, his "SPRITE" work in early 90's gave birth to urban marketing itself. He's done branding for McDonalds, Vitamin Water, Reebok and much more. But that's not the reason why we are doing this interview with him, REGGIEKNOW is actually a COLLECTOR and stylist of 12 Inch Figures or "FASHION FIGURES" as he describes them himself. Now this is not an ordinary collection of expensive hard to find elitist "toys" or us geeking out, it's actually an interesting peek at "OTHER WORLD" that collided with ours in such an amazing fashion that it's not even funny...actually maybe a little. We sat down with REGGIEKNOW and got the whole story, read on!
UNION: Reggieknow what is your background and what do you do at the moment?
ReggieKnow: My background is in advertising & marketing and my foreground is anime. I'm the chief creative officer of the ad*itive (www.ad-itive.com) by day and sir lancelot by night.
UNION: That's great...Let's talk about your collection of 12 Inch Action figures which is very unusual, consisting not only of just the toys themselves and what they represent but also how relevant they are to today popculture and obsession with clothes, accessories, sneakers. How did you start on it?
ReggieKnow: The fashion reflects one of the many style phases my friends and I had in go-ill in the late 90's. We used to wear a bunch of unmatched colors, patterns, etc. showered with an overload of high-end brand names. Eventually this style died for us, but it lives on in the figures. I approach styling the figures the way I styled myself back then... pulling things from different places and combining them to make something unique. It's all types of clothing in the 12”action figure world... military, science fiction, sports, etc. I'm beyond meticulous, so trust that EVERYTHING about my fashion tastes is a detailed story.
UNION: Most collectors of 12 Inch figures don't really "play" with them but you do and not only you mix and match their clothing and accessories! Where does it come from?
ReggieKnow: I don't play with them, I "display" them... they're works of art. These figures are my clients and all of them don't get along so I want to respect that they don't want other clients in the cabinet or other figures elsewhere knowing where they get things. I'll just say a large percentage of it comes from Hong Kong, BUT I create all the details as far as the logo's etc. Toy Tokyo in New York is also a 2nd home. Being an action figure stylist is hard work, their shopping requests are pretty extensive... the jewelry, the burberry and the benetton is real.
UNION: Doesn't it kinda degrade their value? Does it matter to you?
ReggieKnow: Well toys are for rap magazines, my FASHION FIGURES are one of a kind and I would never sell them. I spent the last 10 years collecting them and their clothing for my personal pleasure...not to re-sell them.
UNION: What do you consider a "Fashion Figure"?
ReggieKnow: Possessing original style while standing still forever.
UNION: You are obvliously into fashion and original style. What's your trend now and how did you become a fashion collector?
ReggieKnow: I've never been into trends. I'll say I'm more into time than fashion. When, where, why and how is what grabs my attention with fashion. This keeps one clear of what the darians use to call "fashion zombie", it's when you're doing something that's been dead but you swearin' you live. Wild contrasting colors and big brand logos had its time for me. My time is spent on the outside of fashion and it's evolving trends. I think it's the natural process when someone is really of that culture...eventually they transcend it.
UNION: Well... we heard you are REALLY into collecting original Polo and RRL. Please tell us about your collection. Maybe talk about some of those 1992 Polo pieces?
ReggieKnow: People at Ralph Lauren had the idea to fuse RRL & Rugby together to create a high-end vintage Polo boutique in select cities, so they thought. The plan was to carry vintage Polo they've purchased from collectors, but i got the patent on the idea years ago, so we're in negotiations. During they'll rent my collection to advertise the new store because we know they can't afford to buy it. It'll hopefully save what the Ebay Polo market has tainted, today the Polo hobby is only worth talking about if a collector owns a purple crown, the family of crest silks, a cashmere cocktail or rings knit socks to name a few. Ralph Lauren will always tell a great gentleman story, but as far as this sect of Polo, 87-94 is the only time period that matters. These days the Darian Michigan avenue adventures are the only things that excite me about Polo. Early 90's In Chicago it was a big staple in themed graphic ties! Plate jackets, sit downs, etc. everybody had... but the ties MATTERED, so we should do a Dem Dare flashback celebrating the tie. Ties were also Ralph Lauren's first introduction to the fashion world, so it makes since.
UNION: Do you ever try and get real world items to compliment your "Fashion Figures" collection, and vice-versa?
ReggieKnow: Some..but not intentionally. I own all of the Polo pieces that they are wearing. A lot of accessories etc...but some of these things I would never buy actual size. Jordans, Nike's, Prada sunglasses, BAPE...I've never been into these kinds of things...but for the figures, it works.
UNION: Besides all the things you do with the ad agency you also have been developing an Anime styled hip-hop cartoon.
ReggieKnow: Yes my writing partner Nowenen and I created This Day, it's where Seinfeld meets hip-hop. Urban tales about having one of those days, EVERYDAY. It's being told in the anime style of story telling, so it's murphy's law on crack. The look is a combination of anime, grafitti art, vintage Ralph Bakshi, Parliament Funkadelic album covers and The Beatle's Yellow Submarine. The This Day world is a 80's & 90's hip-hop soundtrack for life.
UNION: What's going on with the project?
ReggieKnow: We made Spike & Mike's Sick and Twisted Festival of Animation, which will premiere in July at Comic-Con 09. It's a cool feather in the p-wing cap considering this is where some of the greats premiered or featured... Beavis and Butthead, South Park and Ren & Stimpy. We have interests from Wood Harris (HBO The Wire) to play LaVell, which is who we wanted. We have other actor and actress interests that we're excited about but it's too early to speak on. It's pretty exciting.
UNION: Does it in anyway tie in with your collection?
ReggieKnow: All day like calendars! I'm a huge fan of Brothersfree and my goal is too have them do the This Day figures. Their figures have a graffiti character design and their attention to detail is like mine. I'm sure they could appreciate doing Fashion Figure Inc. They're background is in advertising and marketing as well, so I know we'll hit it off. UNION LA is the This Day partner in our collabs... apparel, sneakers, items etc. know that Shock-G G-Shocks or Yo-Yo yo-yo's can be any day now from UNION X This Day.
UNION: Shhh...it's still a secret..! But what's next?
ReggieKnow: The Leaders of the New School single from their 2nd album, and as far as myself... This Day x Melody Eh$ani. She creates plastic and metal acid trips with shoes and accessories. We're bringing the This Day earrings that the women wear in the demo to life. The passion we both share for our arts is truly coming out in this collaboration. It's dope when you even have the drug dealers excited.
UNION: Sounds amazing, thanks a lot for your time!
REGGIEKNOW'S MAD COLLECTION OF "SPEED RACER" "AKIRA" "G-FORCE" STEEZ