The History of South Pole Clothing

by Robert Killam - Updated September 26, 2017

Southpole clothing was started by two brothers who have created a popular following for their urban style. Today, Southpole is easily recognizable in its baggy fit and the recognizable logo of six trapezoids in a circular pattern. The company has kept pace with similar brands, and risen above many others.

Precursory History

In 1981, brothers David and Kenny Khym (Korean natives) established a clothing line in Brooklyn, New York that catered to local urban fashion. In 1989, they relocated to Queens after their landlord in Brooklyn raised the rent. After moving to Queens, the brothers had trouble keeping up with the demand for the clothes, so they established "Wicked Fashions" in 1991 as a wholesale company.

Beginnings

After Korean explorers reached the South Pole, David (who started the company and hired Kenny) renamed Wicked Fashions as Southpole in honor of his fellow countrymen. While in competition with similarly-styled clothing lines like FUBU, Southpole kept pace by providing similar clothes at lower prices.

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Separations

Kenny Khym left his brother's business in 1996 to found Against All Odds, a clothing line inspired by hip-hop culture. Despite the success of his brother, Kenny's company--as of 2009--filed for bankruptcy and many locations have begun to close. Southpole, however, seems to be going strong, having reported $350 million in sales in 2005.

Cultural Influence

While similar brands have come and gone, and some of Southpole's competitors have kept competing with them seemingly step-for-step, Southpole currently has 254 vendors in its headquarter state of New Jersey alone, according to a Southpole website search. Southpole has gone beyond clothing as well, featuring footwear and handbags on its website as well.

Future

Southpole is not slowing down, or so it would seem. In 2008, the company collaborated with advertising network Brickfish to launch an online model competition for their 2009 advertising campaign. Currently, Southpole has markets in the United States, Europe and Asia, remaining a company to be noticed in the urban fashion world.

Resources

About the Author

Rob Killam has been a freelance writer since 2009. His work has been published on eHow.com and Poetry.com. Killam attended Pikes Peak Community College, where he pursued a degree in criminal justice.

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