Kai Dawson crafting a fashion revolution with KAIMIKAZE

Photo Courtesy: Kai Dawson

Kai Dawson is a third-year student at Florida A&M University, studying animal science in the veterinary sector. However, her influence extends far beyond her scholarly endeavors; Kai is the creative brain behind KAIMIKAZE, a fashion label that promotes challenging standards and embracing individuality.

The name “KAIMIKAZE” is a testament to Kai’s bold approach. By juxtaposing her name with  “Kamikaze,” which historically symbolizes suicidal bombing, Kai transforms the meaning into one of purpose and defying odds. This oxymoronic title encapsulates her journey and message—asserting her individualism and embracing challenges head-on.

KAIMIKAZE began during Kai’s freshman year of college, plagued by significant personal hardships. Fighting despair, she recognized she had neglected self-care, putting others ahead of herself.

“I figured that was why I had no sense of self or personal belonging,” she said. This revelation sparked a drive for personal growth and financial freedom. Kai saw her brand as a way to express herself and earn a steady income.

“ I knew it was time for me to grow up and take control of what I wanted for myself,” she said.

“FTK” shirt from Kaimakaze
Photo Courtesy: Kai Dawson

The “FTK tee” is a standout among KAIMIKAZE’s products. These made-to-order shirts offer bold, explicit phrases in support of women’s reproductive rights. Kai is proud of the impact that these tees’ have had, stimulating conversations and allowing wearers to express their thoughts without hesitation.

Third-year Criminal justice student, Jordyn Bew, has purchased and even modeled for KAIMIKAZE and explains that she loves the style and message of the shirt.

“I was excited when Kai came out with this shirt because of the reproductive justice aspect of it. We need that at a time when abortion rights for Florida are still up in the air,” she said.

“Many people try to stay comfortable about uncomfortable topics. I feel my tees’ allow people to express their opinions without the hassle of explaining to anyone why they sided the way they did,” she said.

When questioned about her influences, Kai points to the ladies in her life, particularly her mother, sister, aunt and grandmother, for their everlasting support and tenacity. She is also inspired by the changing environment of the fashion industry, recognizing the value of creativity in breaking away from traditional career pathways.

“My Auntie and Grandma are my most active motivation. They support me in every way, shape and form while reminding me of a sense of community and belonging…” she said.

Photo Courtesy: Kai Dawson

Kai confesses that self-doubt has been her most demanding challenge despite her achievements. She is continuously battling her inner demons, which include insecurities and a fear of failure. She finds solace in his control over her mark, seeing it as a symbol of her independence and determination.

“I get overwhelmed at times because I am submerging myself into different aspects of life… I love having something I can control, something that won’t govern or give up on me,” she said.

Kai has big hopes for KAIMIKAZE, with at least three major releases set for this year. She stays committed to her message of empowerment and individualism, encouraging new entrepreneurs to build their own paths without fear.

Christa Thrower, a third-year pharmaceutical science student, expresses her excitement for this year’s drops.

“This will be around the two-year mark for Kai, and I am so excited to see what new ideas she comes up with,” she said.

Kai’s journey with KAIMIKAZE is more than just a fashion statement; it demonstrates the power of self-discovery and resilience. Kai Dawson continues redefining fashion with purpose, inspiring all budding entrepreneurs to embrace their uniqueness and design their paths.

Photo Courtesy: Kai Dawson