About Kiante Young
(News Release) Kiante is a young man who has rocketed from the slums of Harlem. Starting off as a simple cable access show in Manhattan, Young & Doin' It has grown into a marketing firm and a publishing company and has transformed Kiante into Kiante The Sneaker Mann, an on-air fashion stylist who goes on TV shows across the US to highlight the latest trends in sneakers.
Born in Las Vegas, Kiante's early years in Harlem were not easy. Impoverished and a victim to making bad choices, he was not focused and barely graduated from the rigorous Frederick Douglass Academy. After graduation, by advisement of a family friend, he took a test and based on an almost perfect score he was accepted to Columbia University, School of Dentistry and Oral-Maxillary Surgery on a full scholarship. Although this was the chance of a lifetime, the passion for entrepreneurship grew in his heart. With aspirations to be a businessman, he realized that Dentistry was not the path for him, so he left Columbia after one year and premiered Young, Black & Doin' It the very next week.
Young, Black & Doin' It was a teen-focused television program that featured celebrity interviews. There were so many people, young and old, who wanted to get into the music industry but didn't know how so on the show Kiante showed them. This show was aired in Manhattan every Saturday at 7:00 p.m. on channel 67 MNN from June 1999 to 2001. On the show, some of the people interviewed included: Damon Dash, Ruff-Endz, Donell Jones, CASE, DMX, Drag-on, JadaKiss, Sheik, Styles, EVE and Stevie J, Keith Clinkscales, The CEOs of Ruff Ryders Records, LL Cool J, Beenie Man, Faith Evans, Shyne, Members of the Terror Squad, ICE-T, Wu-Tang's Killer Army, Brandon of Jagged Edge, 555, Free of BET's 106 and Park, Dame Grease of Vacant Lots, Meen-o, Iron Mike Entertainment's Jacqueline Rowe, the Legendary DJ Marley Marl, Steph Lova, Cappadonna, Willie Esco, Layzie Bone, Tony Shellman and the editors of Honey Magazine, Heart & Soul Magazine and Savoy Magazine. Kiante cancelled the show in June to focus on his new venture.
A master networker, this anxious young man used this show to spread his brand and establish powerful relationships. One of these relationships was with Coca-Cola. He became a part of the Coca-Cola Ambassadors program where he helped Coca-Cola with their street promotions. He worked with them to develop the teen magazine NYCene. They eventually hired Young, Black & Doin' It to distribute the magazines across New York and the rest is history. Since then other companies have hired or sponsored Young & Doin' It including Fleet Bank, Papa John's Pizza, ENYCE, The National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), Edy's Grand Ice Cream, Kev's Copy Centers, AXA Advisors, Inc. and power stockbroker, Clifford Reid of Reid & Rudiger. Kiante recently completed an ad campaign for the New York Knicks.
Kiante's favorite past time is writing. He writes music, poems and books. Kiante has even printed his book of poetry, I Used to be a Beast, the Autobiographical Poems of Kiante Young. Out of the 1,100 printed over 800 were sold at $10.00 a copy.
In 2004, Kiante launched Young & Doin'it Magazine to empower urban teens to reach for success. With this magazine, he provided positive role models so that urban teens can not only see some of the career opportunities that are available, but also see people like them that are doin'it! People like DMX, Kanye West, LL Cool J and FAT JOE have appeared on the cover. Aside from being a beacon of education, Young & Doin'it Magazine also had a fashion section that featured the latest trends in sneakers. In efforts to promote the magazine, Kiante began doing segments on news shows about sneakers. After time went on, more TV shows began to call him to do segments and Kiante The Sneakerr Mann was born. To date Kiante has done nearly 50 segments across the US.
His determination to succeed has been acknowledged by others. In 2001, he won the UFWA Entertainment Harlem Entrepreneur Award and the Fleet Bank Young Entrepreneurs Award. He went on to win the Fleet Young Entrepreneurs Award three years in a row (2001-2003). In 2002, he won a 2002 NFTE Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. He has been featured in countless magazines and newspapers the world over. A firm believer in creating opportunities, he even does segments on TV shows (CBS, BET, CW and FOX) on sneakers and is known to many as The Sneaker Mann. Last year, Kiante was honored by Oppenheimer as their 2006 OppenheimerFunds Social Entrepreneur of the Year.
Kiante's drive to succeed is only surmounted by his passion to empower others. In his book, the poem "Steps" reads, "How can someone who hasn't stepped, step unless someone who has stepped shows 'em the steps."