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Leaders of the New Cool: Johan Kyle Ong

Having a collection or two and a fashion show in more or less a year in the industry, teen designer Johan Kyle is not the little engine that could. He is a tour de force in motion, a Gen Z-er with potential resting on his shoulders. But he’s not special; he just plays his cards right and at the right time, all while disrupting the fashion landscape.

What are you currently working on?

I’m working on a new campaign. We have a really interesting location for the shoot. I’ve been working on it really hard. I’ve been working on getting my clothes silk-screened. I’ve been making my own hoodies. I’m trying my best to expand my own market, get a little bigger. Make the standards higher.

Is OJK different from Johan Kyle?

I named my brand OJK because it’s my name. Whatever work I put out in OJK will also be Johan Kyle. OJK is whatever I’m feeling. But I try not to put everything of myself on OJK so there’s always something new when people meet me. OJK is a part of me. Probably my morbid and experimental side.

What are your thoughts on the creative community you’re in right now?

I believe in the creative scene here that many creatives are focused on the “now.” Everyone seems to be trend-centric. What other people are doing in other places, we kind of just want to do that because they know people will like it. I think that the creative scene here has so much potential but they are looking at references that are outdated, or maybe that they’re focused on getting a positive reaction rather than what they really want.

I did this experiment where I would look at these random pages of photographers. Their work would all look the same. They’re not even cohesive, they just look the same. I believe that if you’re going to die and the work you leave on Earth looks like everything else, then what’s the point?

How do you want to be remembered?

The future can decide.

What’s your favorite meme?

I don’t want to end my career this early.

Interview by Lex Celera
Photography by Czar Kristoff
Hair and makeup by Zidjian Floro and Raffy So


This story was originally published in our 4th Anniversary issue and has been edited for web. The digital copy of Scout’s 32nd issue is accessible here.


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