Most of you know him as Neeks, I'm honoured to call him a friend. At a young age, Niko has already ventured his way into the fashion industry. From Oxnard California, he expresses his work through photography and design. Shooting film (@neekdashoota) and having his own brand (@f00lcircle) Niko is a creator who pushes his art beyond his abilities.
2007, Niko brought me back to where it all started. Many believe this was a time where sneakers and streetwear was on the rise to what it is today. More collectors than resellers, the passion and dedication was raw. From Diamond Supply to Alife, RIF LA and Supreme, Reserve and HUF, Niko knew this was his environment; a culture that would be his foundation.
"Just seeing how each shop ran, shit was hella crazy to me because it wasn’t just your ordinary shop, it was almost like an exclusive club and the employees were local celebrities. Basically if you worked in a shop like that you were part of the elite, at least that’s how I saw it."
Fast forward to 2017, Niko had his first shot in the Industry. He landed an internship with Diamond Supply Co. Photography and ground work was his main duties, but that all fell through when the company cut off all interns.
"I was pretty down on my luck because I thought that was going to be my first start."
However, everyone knows in Los Angeles, connections are key. This was something Niko wasn't short of. Hustling, talking to the right people, building that confidence, Niko finally had a true start in the industry landing a job at BAIT on Melrose.
Outside of being a sales associate at BAIT, Niko was invited to many industry parties, one being Nike Air Max Day in 2018. With events like these, introducing yourself is important. Put your name out there. An environment like this can contain many creators and connects! Thankfully, this was nothing new to Niko. He knew his worth. Socializing with everyone he met, his talents shined and one individual gave him an opportunity he couldn’t pass up.
"I met the homie Nate who put me onto an internship at a showroom called Medium Concepts where I would work under some older cats Brian and Paul. We were a showroom for the brands Freshjive, Insomniac, Last Heavy, and Clearweather. During the internship I would pack samples to ship out to shops all over the world, go to some meeting with my boss’s (rarely) , A whole lot of data entries, emails, and whatever they needed to get done. Shit was highkey hectic considering I was the only intern. Keep in mind while I was doing all this I would be commuting a 1hour+ everyday to either the arts district in downtown or to Hollywood. "
Niko continued on his experience with this internship, reflecting back.
"This was truly a very special time in my life because I felt like I was doing everything I needed to, and I manifested that I would make it into this industry."
No matter what your job title is, giving 100% is the only way to move forward. With Niko, his story explains it all. Any opportunity he would get in the industry, whether he liked it or not, he put his heart in his work. Maybe it wouldn't always go his way, but he learned from his experiences to be better for that next opportunity that comes around.
"To anyone that’s stuck in life just know anything is possible with some faith and just straight hustling. Everything will eventually start coming FOOLCIRCLE.."