An Interview with Frankie K

By Pseudo Leigh Bowery

Leigh Bowery : So Frankie , tell us a little about yourself?
Frankie K: I am a visual artist and academic and the concept of Frankie Knuckles Manchester was to establish a design collective that embodies the culture of the quarter and Afflecks alike
Leigh Bowery: So what is the theme of your shop?
Frankie K: Extreme…whether it be in living, fashion or lifestyle.
Leigh Bowery: what do you mean extreme?
Frankie Knuckles: Well we used to be heavily involved in extreme sports and were quite well established placing 2nd in a National Supersport Championship, following this we also had successes in Moto-X , BMX and DH. So to mark this side of my personality we have some apparel to specifically appeal to the Afflecks audience.
Leigh Bowery:So where does your involvement in design come from then?
Frankie Knuckles:Well in competitive sport success makes you a perfectionist and this obviously carries onto other elements of your life. Design has always been a passion of mine so when my racing career was reaching an end I threw myself into my design work.
Leigh Bowery: What pieces do you design?
Frankie Knuckles: The high line of our design interests rest with bespoke commissions and we have done everything from gallery installations to large interior décor installations to person-based fashion pieces for photographic shoots and shows. However equally we have commercial interest also and appreciate good design which is why we became involved in the Knucklecase venture.
Leigh Bowery: Ahhh Knucklecase is the iPhone case right?
Frankie Knuckles: Yeah that’s our signature piece and has an A-list audience, owners include Rhianna, Travie McCoy, Marilyn Manson, P Diddy, Alicia Keys and even we have supplied to a major club promoter and UK celebrity within our own sales. However what impressed us most was the quality of its design, truly flawless and has been 5 stage machined out of aircraft-grade aluminium.
Leigh Bowery:What other commercial interests do you have?
Frankie Knuckles:We also are stockists of fydelity boom bags, which are cool satchels that have a fully integrated working speakers and sound system that plugs into MP3, IPOD and Mobile phones to ‘bring your own beats to the streets’.
Leigh Bowery: And speaking of edgy, whats that bike, that’s crazy, is it a BMX or a mountain bike?
Frankie Knuckles: Its both. Neon Green an American partner created a MIXIE bike using mountain bike geometry but BMX peripherals. They did it to go big on tricks as the frameset allows you to pick up more speed whilst maintaining the agility of a BMX. They are big in the states and again have a celebrity fan base with Young Money and Lil Wayne having one and Chris Brown famously riding one onto the BET Awards 2012.
Leigh Bowery: And finally and a point close to my own heart, what is your association with TORTURE GARDEN?
Frankie Knuckles: We have been friends of Torture Garden for a number of years now but since moving out of the capital have yet to find any club like it. Torture Garden represents EXTREME in every sense of the word and we wanted to provide similar opportunity for the people within Manchester. Our city has so many artistic, creative and alternative living inhabitants which is why I first spoke to David Wood about forming a collaboration. We plan to take an exclusive group of friends of the shop down to London to experience the monthly Torture Garden events. All tickets, logistics and VIP priority Q’ing will included. We are doing this more to promote Torture Garden amongst the community than financial incentive alone with the ultimate aim of convincing David that there is enough interest to consider bringing Torture Garden back to Manchester as it once did over a decade ago.
Leigh Bowery: Wow, ambitious?
Frankie Knuckles:Yes but David and his team have been great and really got behind the venture, he rarely fails to make any venture a success so collectively we believe this will succeed.
Leigh Bowery: Powerful words, although would expect nothing less from Frankie K. Well we are just about done is there anything else you would like to say to all your Knuckleheads out there
Frankie K: I think Ive already said it all already! Lol…… email us, message us, pop in and say hi because our friends are why we are here and what makes the Frankie Knuckles family what it is. And thanks Leigh you will never be dead to us as you are one of our muse and inspire everything we do.
Leigh Bowery: ahh thanks Frankie, ‘ I want to be remembered as a person with ideas’