"There's a story behind everything," Kim Jones tells Preview. "There's this wonderful shift happening where young pivotals are searching for meaning and looking to be a part of something bigger."
With this in mind, Kim, a digital content creator, created an online space where creative expression is not only encouraged but cultivated. And she planned her entrance into the e-commerce arena in a quiet and thoughtful manner.
Her strategy is not to bombard consumers nor to pressure young creatives to mass produce their masterpieces. "I wanted it to feel quiet and purposeful," she explains. "I was so inspired by galleries; one of the few places where you can really switch off, stand in front of a beautiful creation and truly imbibe and consume what you see. You are free to interpret it however you like, but at the end of the day, more often than not, when you're in a gallery or a museum, your phone is put aside and it's a truly visceral and personal experience—it's about quality and not quantity. It's quiet, intentional, and thoughtful, as I believe consumption in the fashion world should be."
Kim points out that the digital world can be jarring and "many voices demand our attention." Thus, she envisioned to have a space that can highlight and serve as "a conduit for young and emerging designers, creatives, and entrepreneurs." She launched The Fore, which Kim describes to be "a digital manifestation of [her] blood, sweat, and tears over the last year."
Kim tells us, "It's an online platform that sells pieces from our exclusive, limited edition designer collaborations with a heavy focus on editorial. We feature emerging and established creatives, designers, and entrepreneurs from all over the world to create unique, quality pieces, all available online." By featuring one collection at a time, she can translate a more streamlined and funneled "behavior and approach to fashion and the talents of emerging creatives."
Hinged on the intention of creating and curating quality pieces, Kim's new venture explains why she chose the name The Fore. She shares, "[It] is an excerpt from the idiom to bring to the fore, to highlight and bring to the front. I wanted to highlight these designers with whom I have a personal relationship or I have admired from afar." And for her first collection, she collaborated with renowned designer Ken Samudio to produce SERIES 000419, an accessory line inspired by "abstract expressionism." Accordingly, she and Ken researched on some of her favorite artists in pursuit of creating unique pieces: "Each has a name inspired by the artistic movement."
Over the five years that The Fore has existed in Kim's mind, it has evolved, shifted, and manifested into what it is today through "an immense amount of planning and brainstorming and execution." Kim reveals, "I also photographed the campaign [and] the products, and I made my directorial debut filming and styling the campaign video. I chose to involve myself in all aspects of the business, I have no partners and its been such an amazing and ridiculously humbling learning experience for me."
By being surrounded by a group of young, talented women, Kim was able to transform her online nook into a community that does not only focus on fashion as an art, but also a platform to talk about the bigger picture.
On May 17, The Fore is starting a conversation beyond fashion by holding a 360-degree livestreamed panel entitled The Foreword on Facebook. Kim reveals, "We are featuring six women who I admire greatly and who I believe deserve to be brought to The Fore. Audrey Pe is the incredibly intelligent and charismatic 16-year-old founder behind WiTech, an organization that highlights and supports women in technology. We also have the likes of Vanessa Vergara, a young PR manager who is fiercely passionate about ocean conversation."
She further explains, "I wanted to bring these women together and share their perspectives and advocacies online. I believe these women are the true 'influencers'. The supplementary brand Ethos is to challenge and dissect our views of success; these women all have different ideas of what it means to be successful and I believe these conversations should be shared online. There are so many people who have these amazing stories, advocacies, perspectives, and experiences that are often veiled by social media. This is greatly personal for me, amidst all of the noise online, I want younger men and women to have more access to these kinds of conversations in the digital space and hopefully create a community in doing so."
Along with Kim's hopeful vision to change the way we view online shopping, she also aims for an evolution where collaboration can "assume a variety of different identities" that can resonate to different individuals. She adds, "When the core focus is on collaboration, the creative freedom is endless. You will see more from a wide range of talents, not limited to the creative industries. We will heavily focus on creating a community and highlight emerging talent, that [it] will be continue to be our goalâ€•to bring young talent to The Fore."