Knickerbocker isn’t a typical brand in so many ways, but the spark of the brand is centered around community. Begun by Andrew Livingston in the spring of 2013, Knickerbocker grew out of a simple search to produce honest, dependable goods, but has become a symbol of passing the torch in American production. Since it’s original inception Andrew and his team have embodied a full-force transparency in manufacturing and an ethical supply chain that refuses to compromise. There is an integrous tenacity, and a dedication to “working away and doing [their] thing.” Even Andrew’s parting words to us in so many ways define Knickerbocker from beginning to end. “Good things take time.”
What is your background and how did you start Knickerbocker?
I grew up in action sports and used to be a sponsored snowboarder and rode for a lot of companies, including Billabong. I remember going into the Billabong offices back in California getting to see how designers work. It was fascinating. I fell in love with it, but as a kid I was still busy riding and doing my thing. Later I went through some injuries and things. I was still in high school, but I had the opportunity and the connections at that point to start working underneath a designer at Billabong who showed me the ropes and became a mentor of sorts to me.
When I was 15 I tried creating my own brand, so I took a couple of sewing classes at the local college. I’d show up with my skateboard and there’d be all these thirty something young moms in there. So I got going with that, and then applied to college. NYU was the last place I ever expected to get into but it’s where I ended up going. I was there on a part scholarship for business and did really well. I still loved design, so I’d go to the business classes and teach myself design at night. A few months into school I started a brand with these two kids. My dorm room was filled with cardboard boxes of stuff until I got in a bunch of trouble because you can’t actually run a business out of your dorm room. After that I decided to leave for a year and come back. I realized that my education, as beneficial as it was, wasn’t the direction I wanted to go in.