Karmaloop: An Underground Fashion Empire

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From his parents' Jamaica Plain basement to the biggest online urban streetwear retailer in the world, Karmaloop CEO Greg Selkoe has created an unparalleled universe for streetwear and culture. CEO Greg Selkoe (Courtesy photo) CEO Greg Selkoe (Courtesy photo)

Selkoe's path to retail stardom hasn't been the most direct. Selkoe worked at the Boston Redevelopment Authority after getting his master's in public policy at Harvard's Kennedy School. He grew up in JP and, while he calls his background as a rich white kid "soft," he does have a sense of humor about it. In an interview with Boston Magazine, he joked, "I used to breakdance for money, like in first grade, on the streets of Nantucket."

Selkoe started Karmaloop as a side project while working at the BRA. He had $50,000 in stocks saved from when he was a kid and received extra support from his now-wife and Karmaloop's creative director, Dina, and his father (who remains an investor). Selkoe claims that streetwear's growth can be attributed to its clientele: young people who grew up on the Internet — members of what Selkoe calls the "verge culture."

We talk to Selkoe about Karmaloop's retail web site and its satellite efforts, including music distribution and Karmaloop TV, which will launch as an HD cable channel next year.



This segment aired on December 21, 2010.


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