Global Village

BKc X Life of Kings

Life Of Kings is an American men’s clothing brand founded by Rob Heights (Roberto Hernandez) in Brooklyn New York. It started as a music blog that turned into a lifestyle brand derived from a rich heritage with a strong interest in African American and Latino history.

What’s your relationship with The Brooklyn Circus, is it new, is it old. How far does it go back?

I discovered BKc when they opened their first small flagship shop on Nevins. So we go back quite a few years, but I was a fan straight away because the movement or direction they were taking fashion and the culture resonated with me and I was inspired as a “designer” by their story telling. I was fortunate to have met Ouigi one day visiting the shop. I was surprised to see him there actually so I seized the opportunity to pick his brain. We began talking and really vibed out about fashion the industry his journey we really just hit it off. I became a friend and loyal customer after that day. All seriousness I knew one day we would work together though for me everything is timing all the brands I worked for perfecting my craft and me eventually venturing out on my own led me to this collaboration here and now.

How important are these collaborations or these made for The Brooklyn Circus collections for you as a brand and designer?

For myself and the Brand these made for BKc collections are everything. I moved to Sri Lanka 5 years ago with my family and all design, production and photo shoots are done from here (Colombo), so to have representation back home especially with a brand I admire and have a history with is important for us. I mean I feel every designer either wants to open their own shop or sell out of retail spaces that are not only on the same wave but they also admire and respect. I can only have gratitude for the platform BKc is providing for small and underground brands like us not only that but also shining light on the talented individuals here that are into fashion photography, modeling, make up artist you know there also getting some light on spaces they wouldn’t normally be seen on for me that’s the win win.

You moved to Sri Lanka a few years back from Brooklyn. I am sure they are two totally different worlds, but how? Any similarities?


Yeah totally different worlds is right. I mean I went from a city that experiences seasonal change, here it’s a more tropical environment we experience hot and hotter and rainy season. We live in Colombo so that’s considered the city here , this is where everyone well most people hustle and have there businesses etc which in a way reminds me of NYC except not so many sky scrappers and the streets are packed with not just people, bikes, cars, motorcycles, but with rickshaws, dogs and the occasional heard of cows or buffalo as well. They have museums, art galleries night clubs, great restaurants like any other city but it’s smaller in scale. The Beauty of Brooklyn is the things that man has made. The beautiful brownstone lined streets some with cobble stone, the parks and cool boutiques, but the beauty of Sri Lanka is what nature has to offer like the gorgeous country side displaying lush green hills or the most natural electric green you ever seen on the patty fields, beautiful beaches and there’s even places you can go to get away from the heat there more elevated and the climate is cool like Nuwara Eliya and Hanthana in Kandy But since we’re on the topic of fashion the scene is small here they do have fashion week but the outdoor shopping culture you have in Brooklyn or the City is non existent here which I miss just walking around and stumbling into new shops especially the vintage ones. So it’s a driving culture with Malls. Kind of like the suburbs.

How different would your work be if you were collaborating with the BKc while living in Brooklyn or NYc? Or would it be that different?

Esthetically it wouldn’t be that different. I believe we share a similar vision when it comes to what inspires us and how we take that and incorporate it into our brand or story. For me I’m a big advocate for history , empowerment , vintage relics especially vintage clothing and just elevating the culture. I don’t think of my self as a designer per say I would say I’m more of a remix creator I love digging the crates so to speak, I’d find old styles of the past and reintroduce them in a different fabric or play with the fit or color combination that resonates with the “now”. Perhaps the difference would be that I couldn’t get some of the cool fabrics I find from being on this side of the world or they wouldn’t be so accessible if I were still living in NY, also since I live in a place where people wear prints and patterns a lot it did push me to try new things outside of what I would normally offer. That and the fact that I can actually afford to make capsules here makes a world of difference

What’s the most surprising thing about these special collections during the process and after the actual launch of the collection(s)

I wouldn’t say I’m surprised at this part but because I’m dealing with a visionary and a brand like BKc it pushes me to step up my game. Like I want each capsule to be better than the previous one. Creating these collaborative collections has been so effortless though which is quite surprising being that I’m on the other side of the world and the time difference is crazy. The first capsule we introduced some pretty new items I would say, not in the sense of silhouette but in fabrication. We really took some chances on some fabrics I found here, I mean they were beautiful with soft embroidered patterns but they were definitely new to what we both were offering, but opening day of the new BKc Manhattan flagship came and that particular piece sold out first. I got the call and was surprised but also very excited and happy people found it as beautiful as we did. To be honest I’m just surprised with each collection I can keep leveling up or keep up the same momentum and continue doing what I’m absolutely passionate about.

As a designer for other brands and also your own brand, what do you enjoy the most?

Creating. I love the process from beginning to end, from having an idea and then finding some fabric which you or someone else sews together and brings that idea to life and it makes its way to a shop or online and then someone comes along and chooses your idea from a sea of other options. They then reach into there pocket or bag to spend there hard earned money and purchase that idea. That for me is probably the most satisfying feeling. Not even the money itself, yes you need to make money to fulfill your dreams, pay bills, live life, be charitable and help to continue your passion but for me just knowing someone who may not know me or might of just heard of Life Of Kings liked it so much, they bought it. That’s truly gratifying and I’m forever humbled and grateful for that support.