Fashion Wire Daily: the First Word in Fashion


Versus Hires Jonathan Anderson November 29th, 2012 @ 11:04 AM

Cacharel Unveils New CEO, in Major Corporate Revamp November 21st, 2012 @ 00:56 AM

Kane Drops Out of Versus in Major Shake-up November 20th, 2012 @ 10:14 AM

Pucci’s Madison Avenue Store Debuts Massive Expansion November 16th, 2012 @ 00:35 AM

Ghesquière Departs Balenciaga in Major Surprise November 05th, 2012 @ 00:43 AM

Sao Paulo Fashion Week: Between Optimism and Fear November 02nd, 2012 @ 00:28 AM

London Unveils Men’s Season Schedule November 01st, 2012 @ 00:36 AM

Azzaro Releases Castello Branco October 25th, 2012 @ 00:18 AM

Revenue Soars 22 Percent at LVMH in First Three Quarters October 16th, 2012 @ 00:18 AM

Rykiel Names Geraldo da Conceicao Artistic Director September 21st, 2012 @ 8:12 PM

Brazil’s New London Pop-Up September 21st, 2012 @ 7:20 PM

McQueen Men Returning Home to London September 12th, 2012 @ 7:19 PM

Roitfeld, Mum and Son, Open in Brazil September 07th, 2012 @ 00:54 AM

Berluti Opens to Big-Time Business in London September 06th, 2012 @ 3:27 PM

Stefano Pilati Back with a Bang at Zegna September 05th, 2012 @ 7:10 PM

Hugo Boss Wows in Berlin, Plans for New York July 06th, 2012 @ 00:17 AM

Salvatore Ferragamo: Crusin’ the Louvre June 13th, 2012 @ 11:04 AM

Michel Klein Gains New Backer; Launches Sunglass Collection June 13th, 2012 @ 00:48 AM

Sykes Jettisoned by Aquascutum; Maurer In at Rabanne June 06th, 2012 @ 00:18 AM

Armani Conquers China, Chastises the Pope June 01st, 2012 @ 11:53 AM


No Pain, No Fame: Ju$t Another Rich Kid Casts Wary Eye

Renata Espinosa
March 04th, 2008 @ 5:15 PM - New York

Artist and designer Ken Courtney, the man behind smart men's streetwear brand Ju$t Another Rich Kid and in-the-know culture blog This.Hearts.On.Fire, is the kind of guy for whom the New York Times is just as crucial an accessory as a perfectly fitted hooded sweatshirt.

With Ju$t Another Rich Kid, Courtney's cultivated a brand that is as intelligent as it is cool, and has made a name for himself with t-shirts bearing slogans and graphics that comment on the nature of celebrity and the lengths that people will go to in order to become famous – even when the price of fame might possibly include tragedy.

The ultimate fame game chasers for Courtney - the most head scratch inducing members of the club - are those famous for simply being famous, hotel heiress Paris Hilton of course being the most notorious. When Courtney created a controversial hand screened t-shirt bearing Hilton's name, it landed him on Page Six and in the Daily News, and orders from hip Paris boutique Colette soon followed. In that, a was company born.

Since producing the notorious series of shirts, Courtney's graphics have evolved into a more elaborate layering and collaging of his interests, from Joy Division front man Ian Curtis, to the band Bauhaus, to Kurt Cobain. His collection for Fall 2008, "Live Fast Die Young," revolves around "dark stuff…Edgar Allen Poe, front page headlines, sensationalism," explained Courtney in his New York studio last month. "Right now it's a major theme in my work."

"And now this whole Heath Ledger thing really plays into it," he continued, remarking on the recent unexpected death of the young actor, emblematic of the theme.

Slogan-bearing tees and timely graphics printed onto sweatshirts are just one part of the picture for Courtney, however. Ju$t Another Rich Kid has expanded to include button-down shirts for the first time, with perfectly placed buttons and a collar with just the right amount of splay, and sharp-looking yet streetwise military jackets.

Courtney has also produced accessories that straddle the line between art and design. In 2004, Courtney created a series of gold-dipped items, which he termed "Indulgences."

"I was on eBay and found this McDonald's coffee stirrer from the seventies, and apparent;y the story was that it was eventually banned because everyone was doing coke on it," he said.

Courtney had the idea to dip the innocuous-turned-illicit coffee stirrers in gold and silver, turning the accidental drug paraphernalia into a "classy" status symbol – the ultimate luxury object.

"I was thinking, if I were a really rich hedge fund guy, what would I buy?" Courtney said.

To that end, Courtney produced everything from a pair of gold-dipped Nike Dunk high top sneakers to gold-dipped vitamins. The Indulgences both satirize and simultaneously play into the whole notion of luxury goods – after all, they're all for sale and Courtney wants people to actually buy them. They're intended for the next generation of millionaires who want it both ways – to be rich and to be hip. Think of them as the cigars and Rolex watches for the rich dudes of the Myspace generation.

Courtney's latest set of Indulgences, "Seven Deadly Sins," which he launched this past February, are seven unisex gold-dipped pendants, each representing one of the deadly sins: Gluttony, Greed, Lust, Sloth, Anger, Pride and Envy. There's a miniature coke spoon, of course, representing gluttony, and a Playboy bunny standing in for lust.

Next up for Courtney? More art shows, like the one he's participating in now at the Anna Kustera Gallery in New York (on view through April 5) and a bigger push with tailored pieces in his collections – because even die-hard apostles of the "live fast" way of life need to button-up and settle down once in a while.

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