RANDOLPH – Three friends are creating a legacy for their late friend Kyle Louzada in a California-style clothing and sneaker store, called Kerms.
Louzada, 16, died in 2012 in a shooting inside his Randolph home. No suspects were arrested or charged and the cause of death was ruled undetermined by the medical examiner.
The store is a way to bring positivity to a tragic situation and carry on his name forever. Co-owners Jide Disu, 34, Xavier Pena Diaz, 29, and Jason Toussaint, 30, opened Kerms In January 2021.
"Without Kyle, there is no Kerms. I hope he sees the impact he's had on so many lives," Pena Diaz said.
The clothing store, which takes its name from Louzada's nickname "Kerms," at 69 N Main St., Randolph, is the only one of its kind in town, Toussaint said.
"Every corner of the store is like an art gallery. We took our time to perfect the designs. We love and encourage customers to come in and take pictures and videos. They do that all the time," Toussaint said.
The trio wanted the store to have an open floor plan and exotic designs similar to the clothing stores out on the West Coast.
"Our brand gives our customers feel-good energy. When you put it on, you feel good," Pena Diaz said.
After traveling to different states, visiting other stores and sitting with an architect for months, the designs came to life.
"Kerms was a dream of ours we had for a long time, and it was just the right time. We've been doing the Stadium brand longer than we've been doing Kerms," Pena Diaz said.
Stadium started in 2013 as a way for the three co-owners to express their artistic vision through apparel. Stadium was their first clothing concept, and Kerms is the sister brand.
The logo and name have several meanings. On the Stadium T-shirts, their logo is a star with a mousetrap stuck to the star's hand.
It symbolizes a trapped star (the customer) stuck in their situation, but it also means everyone is destined to shine bright and be a star no matter what problems hold them back.
Stadium written in bold lettering on each T-shirt symbolizes an actual stadium where fans watch games or concerts without ceilings. The concept is the sky is the limit.
The clothing store offers a variety of apparel and other items, ranging from sweat suits and hats to ashtrays, phone cases and pillows.
Additionally, they sell popular powerhouse streetwear brands like Supreme, Bape, Essential, Warren Lotus, Chrome Hearts, Anti-Social and Stone Island.
"We love fly stuff. We only want to bring the flyest clothing and sneakers to the masses. It's our lifestyle," Pena Diaz said.
One of the significant steps to having a successful brand is marketing, which came easily to the trio. First, they developed samples of Stadium shirts and styled them with different trendy sneakers, like Jordan 1's, Nike Dunks and Yeezies.
Stadium grew in popularity from word of mouth and social media. The support from the community was overwhelming, Disu said.
What sets Stadium apart from other clothing brands is the quality of the material, and each piece is individually cut, sewn by hand and manufactured in California, Disu said.
"We pay attention to every single detail," he said.
Running a store does have its everyday challenges, Toussaint said, but it's nothing they can't handle as a team.
As young adults, their reputation in the town of Randolph wasn't the best, but the pandemic gave them the boost they needed to secure a location.
As many businesses in Massachusetts shut down, building owners were losing clients, and one decided to take a chance with them, Disu said.
Since opening in January, the business has been booming, and the owners plan to expand their business to a global brand one day in memory of Louzada.
"We have a lot of things planned for the community, sponsoring jerseys, hosting tournaments in the summer, and anything to help." Pena Diaz said. "It's not about the money. It's about giving back and providing a place that kids feel comfortable and safe coming to."
The group currently is raffling off $1,000 worth of store credit to two lucky winners on their Instagram page as a way to give back.
"The store is leaving a legacy and showing kids to find whatever their creative passion is," said Spencer Cabral, 26, the sneaker ambassador for Stadium.
"We're teaching kids in our community that you can pave your vision. You don't have to go to college to be successful. There are other viable options out there," Cabral said.
To keep up with the latest merchandise, visit stadiumofficial.com.
Store hours are noon to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
This article originally appeared on The Enterprise: Randolph sneaker boutique: Kerms named in honor of Kyle Louzada