Southpole (clothing)

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Southpole is an American clothing label based in Fort Lee, New Jersey.[1] It is owned by David Khym.[1]


The company was founded by brothers David and Kenny Khym, two Korean natives from a family of five children who immigrated to the United States from Incheon in 1977.[1] In 1981, David used $10,000 in savings and a $5,000 line of credit to establish a retail clothing store in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn.[1] He hired Kenny to work at the store, and in 1989 they relocated to Jamaica, Queens after their landlord for the Brownsville location raised their rent.[1]

The Khyms had trouble keeping the baggy urban fashions popular at the Jamaica location in stock, so in 1991 they established a wholesale company called Wicked Fashions to import clothes from Pakistan.[1] David Khym named the new clothing label Southpole in honor of a team of Korean explorers who had recently become the first from that country to reach the South Pole.[1] Southpole succeeded by providing styles similar to those of other popular urban labels such as FUBU, but at a much lower cost. In 1996, Kenny left in order to found his own business, Against All Odds, a chain of mall-based retail stores focusing on hip-hop fashion.[1]

Today, Southpole clothes are imported from manufacturers in Pakistan, China, India, and Vietnam, then sold through national retailers such as J.C. Penney and Sears.[1] Southpole generated more than $350 million in sales in 2005.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Kitchens, Susan. "Hip-Hop, a la Bibimbap",, published February 13, 2006, accessed August 11, 2007.

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