Arts & Entertainment

Motivating youth from the outside, in

Kings Rule Together aims to inspire youth to work together.

Kings Rule Together, an urban clothing brand, entered the blogosphere in 2010. Five years later, the brand expanded to storefront retail through the fashion company VILLA. The brand has spread to over 40 stores across the nation.

A celebratory event on March 12 launched the expansion at the retailer’s South Street location in Philadelphia.

“Growing up in Philadelphia, you don’t really see that many brands that make it or brands that have that many people supporting them,” said Curran J. Swint, executive director of Kings Rule Together. “That’s why we are called Kings Rule Together, because people can rule together if they have the same goal.”

The team of Kings Rule Together is a collaboration of graphic designers, fashion designers, photographers, Temple business alumni, Temple and Drexel student interns and creative individuals assembled by Swint.

To branch away from a communication world of derogatory terms, Swint uses the title “king” as a nickname.

“I really embraced it. … I was inspired by it,” he said. “It changed my mindset, it changed the way I look at different things.”

“I was strong by myself but when I came together with someone who was on the same page as me, I was even stronger,” he added.

Thus, the merging of monarchies became the central force of Curran J’s brand, where royalty flourishes in numbers.

David Idokogi, senior economics major and graphic design intern, said Curran J’s greatness in running the organization is contrasted with his personality of humility and humor. Idokogi works closely with Swint and creative director Idris Robinson  in continuing the brand.

“We promote positivity, but [Kings Rule Together does] it through art and fashion,” Swint said.  Kings Rule Together strives to inspire the confidence of royalty, referring to men and women as kings and queens.

“We can inspire each other with unity, with hard work, with dedication,” he said. “We are promoting togetherness.”

Each team member was chosen for their creative abilities and talent. When speaking about the Kings Rule Together team coming together, Idokogi acknowledges problematic possibilities with a large group of creative individuals. Every individual must take into account creative differences.

“Everyone is respecting each other for who they are,” Idokogi said. “Everyone is unique and we should acknowledge that and appreciate.”

Swint said the growth of the brand is important to him.

“We go to a lot of schools in the Philadelphia area, talking to kids about inspiration,” Swint said.

Swint said he uses his development as a designer and a brand owner to encourage motivation in students.

Kings Rule Together is directed toward consumers ranging from 16 to 32 years old. The style is urbanized and considered more of a lifestyle than a brand, Swint said.

This brand extends its influential power across Philadelphia, including on Temple’s campus.

“A lot of Temple students, myself included, put importance in street wear brands,” Idokogi said.  “[Brands] get commercial and creators lose their balance, artistic balance, and then the brand kind of gets washed out.”

Swint said the brand is more than clothes – it resembles a lifestyle. The goal of Kings Rule Together is to stay fresh and clear of fading.

“We are all kings and queens and we have to start treating ourselves like that,” Idokogi said.

Allison Merchant can be reached at allison.merchant@temple.edu.

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