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Shoe boutique Fly Kix offers premier trends for Alanta’s neighborhoods

Chris Newton, buyer and manager, curates and selects the seasonal clothing pieces featured at Fly Kix boutique. Photo by Jade Johnson | The Signal

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Atlanta has always been known for its eclectic style and willingness to push the envelope. Although this creativity can be seen through a variety of mediums, the most intriguing example can be noted in its offbeat yet unique fashion scene, particularly in “streetwear” style.

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Fly Kix, Peters Street’s signature boutique, is an industry leader in streetwear culture. Nestled in the heart of Castleberry Hill, Fly Kix is found in a niche location that matches their brand. Chris Newton, Buyer and Manager, explains the philosophy behind Fly Kix’s clothing style.

“Fly Kix is unique because it not only allows someone less acclimated with the culture get introduced to trends, but also allows you to follow up on trends you already like,” Newton said. “We carry a lot of different brands that are popular in the community, so it’s a middle ground for people who may know what they want and those that are still figuring it out what their style is.”

The stylish start

Newton has been an employee of Fly Kix for two years, following a nine-month internship as a member of their street team. Now, he has matured and been promoted to “buyer,” a position he takes great pride in.

“Well, I started off as a street team member, which basically meant I was out and about, handing out fliers and basically promoting the business,” Newton said. “Now, as a buyer, I spend a lot of time searching for new brands and styles to bring to the store. Being a buyer requires research skills, but I personally feel like it’s more of having the ability to piece different looks together and having an eye for clothes that pop. You have to have style.”

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Although Newton mentioned a variety of both mainstream and underground streetwear brands Fly Kix offers, General Manager Sherina Hargrove clarified the history of Fly Kix’s style. She noted that Fly Kix originally didn’t offer many well-known brands.

“We originally opened in March of 2011, but back then we didn’t sell any of the brands you see in mainstream streetwear culture,” Hargrove said. “We had lots of up-and-comers, and still do. Back then it was hard to get the major brands to sell to us, so we had to take it upon ourselves to set the trends and decide what we personally thought was cool. Because of that, we’ve always embraced both large and small brands.”

Hargrove also explained why Castleberry Hill is the perfect location for their shop, as well as how the neighborhood has evolved since their opening.

“Castleberry Hill has always been a historic place in Atlanta, particularly the art scene. Our owner wanted to find a place that could be a staple for the people, while being embedded in the heart of Atlanta. Back when we opened, Castleberry Hill really only had a few businesses that mainly catered to nightlife. After its re-identification began, businesses started flocking.”

Chris Newton, buyer and manager, curates and selects the seasonal clothing pieces featured at Fly Kix boutique. Photo by Jade Johnson | The Signal
Chris Newton, buyer and manager, curates and selects the seasonal clothing pieces featured at Fly Kix boutique.

Photo by Jade Johnson | The Signal

More than a shoe store

Despite its wide array of shoes, Fly Kix’s name can be a bit misleading; visitors will come surprised to find out that Fly Kix sells more than just sneakers. There is an entire subculture crammed into the store, with different looks to match any style.

“Fly Kix has its name because the owner always loved sneakers, but we like to think of ourselves as more of a gentleman’s closet,” Hargrove said. “We have two lanes, the ‘progressive’ streetwear look which is more of the DGK, Huf, and Nudie, but then we have the more traditional looks, like Diamond Supply and Crooks. We’re looking to provide more exclusive brands as well, like Uniform and Billioniare Boys Club.”

Newton believes diversity in quality product is what makes Fly Kix unique from other boutiques, and described his personal style.

“I like the casual streetwear look, which is usually dressier top with high quality, slimmer fitting jeans and some offset sneakers,” he said. “We have several looks at Fly Kix, so whether you like drop-crotch jeans, or the slim-waist, slim-leg look, we have it.”

Aside from selling clothes, Fly Kix is also very active in the community. From shoe drives to private listening parties, the shop takes pride in accessibility for all.

“Our hospitality separates us from a lot of the other boutiques in Atlanta,” Newton said. “Everyone’s down to Earth, and we never force anyone to buy anything. Of course we want you to purchase our products, but we also encourage people to come in, hang out and have a conversation. Aside from that, we also do a lot in the community; we help feed the homeless, do shoe drives for children, do street cleanups, and provide school supplies, bookbags, and even haircuts. It’s important to give back to those who do so much for us, and we’re always looking to do more.”

Due to their accessibility, Fly Kix has a major following not only with the youth, but also with many popular hip-hop artists. Newton chalks it up to being in tune with the culture, and knowing what the people want.

“I think we attract a lot of celebrities simply because of the quality and variety of products we have,” Newton said. “We’ve had Kendrick Lamar, Trinidad James, CyHi and even Future come by. It’s cool, because as a casual shopper you can walk in and see one of these guys any given day. It makes shopping a true experience, but I think it’s just another example of how we touch the culture and set trends that everyone wants to be a part of.”

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