Tuesday Style: YEKIM Leather Jackets From Chicago Fashion Designer
Bossip's interview with Martez Malone, founder of YEKIM. Nice meeting you Martez, we wanted to commend you on...
Celebrities and the ultra-rich have access to many exclusive things – private parties, luxury cars, yachts, houses. They also have access to custom fashion by celebrity designers, that until now were out of reach of the public.
Started as per-request service exclusively for celebrity clients, YeKim has since become a collection of ready to wear pieces, now available to the public.
As seen on:
Specializing in leather goods, YeKim designs, manufactures, and distributes high end apparel with celebrity brand reps and unique designs, quality, and manufacturing procedures.
YeKim’s unique positioning as a high-end celebrity brand combined with affordable prices, without sacrificing quality, has an aspirational appeal for successful men and women.
Celebrity association is critical for making it in clothing industry. There are many examples how fashion influencers have made brands into multi-million dollar companies.
"Fashion Nova went from 5M 1.5 years ago to being worth 250M in large because of the influencers like the Kardashians and a lot of of the A-list celebrities wearing it. Fear Of God blew up very quickly because of a collaboration with Justin Bieber tour merchandize (and Justin wearing it at every performance). Kanye, 2 Chainz, Future, the Migos have all done photoshoots in that brand: now it's everywhere." – Martez says.
As part of influencer engagement, YeKim co-hosts events with music and show business celebrities to promote its brand.
DJ Khaled inviting fans to YeKim's fashion show:
Other marketing efforts include:
Gervonta "Tank" Davis – IBF lightweight boxing world champion.
YeKim is sponsoring Gervonta Davis, the undefeated lightweight boxing world champion, who is promoted by Floyd Mayweather Jr.. Under a partnership with Under Armour, YeKim will be making all of Gervonta’s uniforms for his fights.
Celebrity Designer Martez Malone
Designer / Founder & CEO
Martez was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. Now a successful business owner, and a father of three children, his path to YeKim wasn’t easy.
When Martez was 19, he participated in a check-cashing/debit card scheme that landed him in prison on charges of conspiracy to commit bank fraud. He was released early on parole, which he completed. His time in prison was a lesson that pushed him to become an entrepreneur, and many years later he founded YeKim.
He became the COO & co-founder of “Family First Music Production Company”, signing three recording acts; one of which he was able to have featured on Oprah Winfrey’s show. In 2011, Martez’s business-partner was killed, mistaken for someone else in a drive-by-shooting, thus ending Family First Music Production Company.
His love for music lead him to interface with many Hip Hop artist, Pop, and R&B recording stars, who he found frequently sought after high-end clothing that fit their image.
In 2013 Martez created YeKim to make that very clothing (named after his late cousin and best friend Mikey, who was killed in a gas station robbery five years prior to that).
In only a few years, he has helped start clothing lines for hip hop artists that grossed millions in sales:
Martez's creative process is still closely tied with the music:
Quality fabrics and distinct styles, combined with numerous celebrity-associated fans and clients, has attracted the public’s and retailers' attention.
Current production: YeKim is producing luxury goods at an approximately 80% gross margin.
Current Inventory value: $200,000 at production cost / $488,000 at wholesale prices / ~$1M at retail prices.
Securing a loan to purchase YeKim’s own factory with the goal of producing a minimum 50% of YeKim products in-house, as well as using excess capacity to produce for other brands and major corporations.
Expand and develop new revenue streams:
Receive certifications, including DBE (Disadvantaged Business Enterprise) & MBE (Minority Business Enterprise), opening opportunities to build new stores and win new major retail accounts.
Launch YeKim Young Black Designers Foundation – 501(c)(3) – frustrated by the lack of high-end black designers, Martez will teach classes and seminars on design and manufacturing to help bring more black designers to fashion.
Partner with LA Trade Connect on distributing YeKim products to 100 countries worldwide
View the styles to choose from as additional perks for your investment in YeKim:
Your choice of a YeKim sweater, t-shirt or button up shirt.
A YeKim tracksuit.
Your choice of a YeKim denim suit (jacket+pant).
Your choice of one YeKim leather jacket (including the luxury motobiker jacket with Fox Fur).
Your choice of any YeKim (non-custom) jacket, pant and a bag + a feature on YeKim Instagram (35,000+ followers).
Get a one-of-a-kind jacket (pre-made) + invitation as VIP guest to all YeKim and celebrity events for 1 year + invitation to a YeKim photoshoot + everything above.
Custom YeKim jacket of your own design + 1 hour call with Martez for style / design consulting + all above perks.
Fly to Los Angeles and meet Martez to get 2 custom one-of-a-kind YeKim jackets designed by Martez just for you + everything above.
Co-create a YeKim design for the next YeKim collection, named after you! Plus everything above.
Co-create part of the next YeKim collection with a series of designs named after you + everything above.
YeKim pieces are made in several factories in US (Los Angeles) and Pakistan.
YeKim sells its wares directly to consumers via the company’s website, https://www.yekim.com/, through trade shows, and indirectly through vendors.
Top priorities include, securing a loan to purchase a factory with the goal of producing a minimum 50% of YeKim products in-house, as well as using excess capacity to produce for other brands and major corporations, expanding and developing new revenue streams, receiving certifications and making international distribution deals.
Yes, all perks are opt-in.
Martez acts as the artistic and design director for the brand. Part of his role is sourcing the materials and bringing them to various manufacturing facilities in California, as well as contracting with facilities abroad for certain items. Martez's future plans include leasing or purchasing his own manufacturing facility to take the brand's production in-house and use excess production ability to produce goods for other brands.
With any business, marketing exposure plays a key factor in regards to success. YeKim's clothing line has a remarkable network of celebrity connections, which will undoubtedly create a buzz in the market.David KessebehInvested 5 days ago
I worked all my life to be able to have a comfortable retirement, I hope with this company's success I will be closer to doing just that as well as helping other start ups...As, I am a believer in paying it forward!Shaeda BurgessInvested 6 days ago
I seen this company before it started and to see it now I knew what it was gonna do ... i also know where its about to go ...Onion HowellInvested 5 days ago
I believe in the ideas of the founders visiontrasey greenInvested 7 days ago
We all need clothing pure and simple.Joseph WelchInvested 7 days ago
Urban attire seems to attract buyers of all means, and this seems like a solid investment that will capture a piece of a multi billion dollar industry.Todd HendricksInvested 7 days ago
Luxury Urban apparel seems like a business that has some more room to growAleksandr KalikaInvested 9 days ago
I believe in new businesses and trendsCharles HicksInvested 11 days ago
I invested because I like the design of the clothes and vision of the company. I think this company has the potential transition into the international market.Agatha Siu Yan HoInvested 13 days ago
Investors should verify any issuer information they consider important before making an investment.
Investments in private companies are particularly risky and may result in total loss of invested capital. Past performance of a security or a company does not guarantee future results or returns. Only investors who understand the risks of early stage investment and who meet the Republic's investment criteria may invest.