Pharrell-Approved KIN Apparel Debuts a Black History Month Line

Founder Philomina Kane discusses Pharrell, Shark Tank, and satin-lined hoodies.

KIN Apparel’s Philomina Kane / Photograph by Jauhien Sasnou

On the “chop” that started it all: I come from a family of hairstylists, so my hair was never an issue. Fast-forward to 2014. I was a freshman at Princeton and away from my family. I didn’t know how to take care of my hair without their help. My hair started falling out, and I chopped it off. Around this time, a natural-hair movement was happening. I became obsessed with healthy hair care and started a YouTube channel to document my journey. It amassed almost 200,000 subscribers and became a community of women saying, “I want to embrace my hair like it is.”

Age: 28

Lives in: Fishtown

Title: Founder and CEO

Workplaces: KIN Apparel

Trained as: Ecological biologist

On KIN Apparel’s inspiration: On cold days in college, I wore a satin scarf to rugby practice rather than a hoodie, because cotton causes friction and breakage. Satin is much softer. I told myself, “One day, I’m gonna make satin-lined hoodies.” After graduating in 2017, I became marketing director of a hair-care company. I was still making YouTube videos on the side, and an agency reached out about collaborating. My first satin-lined hoodie came out in January 2019, but it was a side hustle. By the next year, I realized I was giving away my ideas and left to pursue entrepreneurship.

On KIN’s meaning: “KIN” is an acronym for “Keep it naturally.” But it could also mean familial kinship.

KIN Apparel

KIN Apparel’s satin-lined hoodies and hats / Photograph by Jauhien Sasnou

On the star-studded stakes: I was on Shark Tank in 2021, where I landed a $100,000 deal with Emma Grede for a 15 percent stake in the business. Last year, I applied for Pharrell’s Black Ambition program, which gives Black and Hispanic founders opportunities to be heard and receive investment dollars. I made it to the top eight. I didn’t take home a million, but I did win $75,000.

On what’s ahead: KIN Apparel was selected for a campaign with Chase Bank — commercials, billboards, online, to show our journey. We’re launching a Black History Month line. And we’re thinking about collaborating with the big dogs. My goal is to raise $2 million in funding. In the past, I was cruising. Now, I want to take it to the next level.


Published as “Hair Apparent” in the February 2024 issue of Philadelphia magazine.