Here’s a story about Polo and myself before IMKING.
I met Polo back in Jr. High school, that was 1997. He was a new transfer to the school and I didn’t even know he was in my class until a few weeks later. At lunch one day, I wanted to just shoot the basketball around and saw him on the empty court. We balled for a bit and noticed that this kid was really good. The next morning I had class and was like WTH?! I have class with you? It’s funny that I still didn’t even know his name. All I remember was this kid wore “Polo” and Jordan sneakers . I just started calling him “Polo” because I didn’t know his name and it stuck with him ever since. At the time, I was dipped out in my Adidas tracksuits and shelltoe’s. Hanging out we became great friends and got into tons of trouble together.
Going into High School Polo rarely attended class and got bad grades. I always went to class and got bad grades. School was not for the both of us. We’re both not stupid. We just got caught up with a lot of the wrong things. A rebellious attitude, we did not take authority well. After our freshman year, he was transferred to another high school and I went to an alternative school for a year. We still lived down the street, hung out, and seemed to always stand out among the people we hung out with. If you knew Polo you knew he had one of the meanest shoe collections you’ve ever seen. At my school, I dressed like I was from a rap video. Closing out high school I was voted “Best Dressed.” Funny how things turn out.
We then began our life as young adults. Polo left college pretty early to start working and his dream as an entrepreneur. I went to community college trying to figure out what I wanted to do. When we hung out we would talk about creating our own line and sketching up designs. The funny part was seeing how bad our early work and ideas were. That original idea kind of fell through the cracks and we stopped talking about it. On one trip we had to Santa Barbara, during the long drive home he convinced me to join up with him in Real Estate. That was never my thing, but he proposed it would be a great way to save up money to start our apparel venture. During that period, I was also working with a few start up brands. I was soaking in knowledge about how things worked. One of the nights when my creative juices were flowing, I gave Polo a call. I talked to him about how I think we should start now. We pretty much dropped everything else and put our focus to our dream.
In 2006, IMKING was born.