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Words by Christian Middle Child

Written by KING

Founded as a creative project turned creative studio, Middle Child’s inspirations draw from the digital era of social media platforms such as AIM, Myspace, and ooVoo. Many of you might not know those forms of media and are familiar with the more present-day adaptations such as Discord, Twitter, and [sort of] Tumblr. The name stems beyond just the role of a neglected family member but entails more so the pecking order we fall in society.

The owner, Christian Middle Child, grew up in a poverty-stricken area of EastSide Long Beach, where a juxtaposition of interests ensued. In a Cambodian neighborhood, the norm was liking typical West Coast gangster rap. Going against the tide, Christian listened to bands such as Blue Oyster Cult, New Order, and Crystal Castles. Questioned by others due to racial boundary crossing and his interests in the arts and music, from an early age, he knew this was the feeling of what some call ‘Middle Child syndrome.’

After a few awkward years of emo playlists and mixtapes for girls, Christian decided to get into fashion school with hopes of becoming a luxury fashion designer. His luxury fashion interest soon morphed into streetwear, where he interned at a well-known brand under an unnamed pop culture phenomenon. This is phase one of the creation of Middle Child.

Christian found himself steaming clothes three days a week and was one day asked by someone on the marketing team what he wanted to do after all this. This was it. He could finally tell someone his dream about starting his own brand.

He blinked and walked away.

Christian’s dreams and ambitions were lost in the essence of the 9-5 ecosystem. A Middle Child once again.

He learned that day that no matter where we've been or who we are, we’re always stuck in the middle — whether it’s school, corporate life, or working for your hero, you are always one of the steps on a ladder, never being on top.

From there, Middle Child was born. At least mentally. The idea of being stuck in the middle was the basis of the creative studio. Being Cambodian, he knew he was a Middle Child of Asian Americans. Living in Long Beach, you’re considered a Middle Child caught between Los Angeles and Orange County. Middle Child is a haven created for misfits and outcasts.

It wasn't until 2017 that the creative studio was fully fleshed out, with the first project being a photoshoot recreation of their favorite scene from the 2003 Asian-directed film "Old Boy." Several campaigns, collections, and interns later, we continue to produce content locally but viewed on a global scale.

Inspired by our love for cyberpunk, anime, and '80s bands comes Middle Child.

Written 14 June 2023

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