We had the good fortune of connecting with Kinh Tran and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kinh, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
There wasn’t any thought process behind starting Nihil. It came about organically, impulsively, as it formed when my former partner, Eugene, and I were burnt out from school. We were two lost kids switching from major to major, but unfortunately nothing stuck. It was difficult for us to continue half-heartedly in school, but when it came to fashion we’d regularly spend countless hours talking. With fashion being the initial thing we bonded over; it only felt natural to make something out of that commonality. Scraping together the bits of cash and spending an unholy amount of time on the internet, we were able to put together what is known as Nihil today. In a way, it was us making a path for our uncertain futures.
What should our readers know about your business?
Nihil is a clothing brand that’s more or less an extension of my thoughts, interests, and feelings. Growing up, I was a shy kid who could never convey my thoughts properly, choosing to sit back and watch my life pass. Through Nihil those experiences are woven into garments with the use of graphics. Everything that I felt and saw is being pushed into the designs and creatives. It’s my way of finally taking action and speaking out. I’m not saying I’m going to revolutionize the fashion industry; Nihil is more of a place to showcase my ideas and have fun with it.
I didn’t expect people to like what was being made, but I’m thankful. Getting to where things are now was not even remotely easy; it took a lot of trial and error to learn. There was so much time spent teaching myself how to design a garment, making graphics, using a camera, and marketing when I barely even knew how to speak. These were all trials by fire; each failure was a learning lesson. I only overcame things because I sat down and spent the time to understand them. Being passionate about clothes is what has helped continue through it all. I get so excited whenever my ideas finally get realized, it’s like at that moment nothing else exists. For those who like what Nihil puts out, I’m extremely grateful, otherwise, thanks for taking the time to check Nihil out. This feels like it’s just the start and I’m excited to showcase what’s to come next.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If I have to be honest, nowadays all I do is eat and go to museums so it’ll just be a list of restaurants and museums.
What’s New York without a bit of Pizza?
– Suprema, my #1. I’ve loved every slice I’ve tried from there
– Prince Street Pizza, close contender the Spicy Spring is the standout with the Ezzo Pepperoni.
Burgers, Fries, and more
– Ruby’s, nothing has come close to the burgers here. Adding fries with the truffle aioli make it a match made in heaven.
– Shake Shack, this should be the burger standard. It’s like if any of the fast food chains went a bit more upscale.
– Tonchin, let’s just say the ramen here gets a Michelin star for a reason. Their broth is rich and the noodles’ texture is perfect. When we’re feeling a little fishy,
– Ichiran, if you’re looking for some personal time to eat I’d go here. They specialize in tonkotsu ramen and you get to customize the firmness and broth’s richness to your liking.
– Sushi By M, their omakase is great quality for the value.
– Ume, if you’re looking for a sushi spot with a great atmosphere this is it. I’d opt for the set over the omakase.
– Nami Nori, it’s a great spot to eat temaki which are like deconstructed hand rolls.
– Kenka is a budget friendly Japanese bar in the Lower East Side. The place has charm with it’s bizarre decor and menu options, Going with people, you have to try the takoyaki roulette option fun experience for a small group.
– Take 31 around Mid Town is a slightly more expensive place. Though the food is amazing and the flavoured Makgulli made me go back 4 times within 2 weeks.
– Guggenheim is my favourite museum due to the architecture, To experience the museum, you’ll have to walk around in a spiral.
– The Met, this is a huge museum that I could never get enough of it. It’s easy to get lost around here and takes up a lot of time.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
It’s hard to name everyone because there were so many people along the way who’ve helped out. With that in mind, I’m sorry in advance if you aren’t mentioned. I want to shout out the people who’ve been working the closest to Nihil throughout the years: Eugene, Carolyn, Christie, and my parents. They’ve always had their hand in ideas, a lot of things wouldn’t have been realized without them. I also want to give a big shout out to those who have been supporting the brand, if it weren’t for you guys Nihil would be nothing but an idea. You all are the motivating factor to keep this alive.