Art

Local Photographer Kiing Unites Miamians Via 3:05 T-Shirt Brand

Local Photographer Kiing Unites Miamians Via 3:05 T-Shirt Brand
@imkiing
Kiing started seeing it everywhere: on his phone, in gas stations, in airports. Seemingly every time he looked at a clock, it happened to read 3:05. It was like the universe was trying to tell him something.

"I remember looking at the time in the car — it was 3:05 — and it clicked in my head to start the 3:05 brand of shirts," he says. "I just wanted something to unify my city. And I always wanted to find a way to separate myself, not only from other photographers but in Miami in general."

Kiing (real name Willie Floyd) was born to and raised by Jamaican parents in Miami. Now 28 years old, he shoots personal photography for local rappers and singers and also covers concerts, meet-and-greets, and other events. About six months ago, he launched his 3:05 clothing brand on Instagram, and it quickly gained traction among local R&B and hip-hop artists. His goal is to bring the community closer together through a recognizable symbol of South Florida pride — something like the "I Love New York" campaign.

"When I'm out doing photography, I hear a lot of rappers and singers say Miami artists never get support from Miami people," he says. "I don't think that's true. We all just got to unify. I think of the shirt as a unifying thing — it's the new Miami. I feel like it's something the city really needs."
click to enlarge Kiing (Willie Floyd) - @IMKIING
Kiing (Willie Floyd)
@imkiing
The first big breakthrough for 3:05 came when Miami superstar rap duo City Girls began rocking the brand. Other local celebrities, such as Dr. Miami and Veronica Vega, have since been spotted with Kiing's threads, and 3:05 was featured on VH1's Black Ink Crew. The success has Kiing considering whether to expand — 786 might be next — but for now he's concentrating on 3:05.


Kiing isn't the first person in Miami to launch a social media campaign connecting the area code with the time of day. The hashtag #305cafecito went viral in 2012, and the following year, Mayor Tomás Regalado declared 3:05 p.m. the city's official coffee break time.

But this is different. From Kiing's perspective, the 3:05 brand is a way for artists, influencers, and tastemakers to incorporate Miami into their work — and for the Magic City to get credit where it's due. Beyond that, he views it as something of a motivational movement: "You know how sometimes you want to do something you've been putting off for a really long time? You put on the 3:05 shirt — it's time to do what you need to do."
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Howard Hardee is a freelance writer based in Madison, Wisconsin. Originally from Fairbanks, Alaska, he has a BA in journalism and writes stories about music, outdoor adventures, politics, and the environment for alt-weeklies across the country. He is an aficionado of fine noises and has a theremin in his living room.