For our new Playmaker Profile series, highlighting major players in the sports industry, I discussed a range of topics with The Infamous Kayce. She shared her journey from picking up a basketball at a young age to becoming a highly reputable influencer in the sneakers, sports, and fashion industries. We also dove into some other interesting stories. One thing is for certain, infamouskayce has found her niche blending fresh styles and love for sports.
Who Is Infamous Kayce?
Known for her bright personality and loud hairstyles Kayce brings energy and passion to whatever project she’s involved with. But, before she was “Infamous,” she was just Kayce Kirihara. A six-year-old that fell in love with the game of basketball then played hoops at the University of Hawaii-Hilo. While in college, Kayce went on to work as a ball-girl with the Seattle Storm. An opportunity that would help catapult her career to new heights.
But this was no overnight success. Kayce would eventually graduate from college with a communications degree. Kind of stuck in limbo regarding her future, she took a position with the Storm as the Equipment Manager and Video Coordinator. The experience was invaluable for Krihara’s career. As she described,
Working with the Storm introduced me to the business side of sports. Also, it helped me gain connections in the industry. Essentially, I was with the organization for 11 years. Although I enjoyed the experience, working on the business operations side of sports was not my passion.
After being in that position for four years Kayce, moved on to be a Creative Production Manager for Nordstrom’s marketing department, a piece of her history fans may not know. She went on to explain,
Growing up during a time where visible tattoos and dyed hair were frowned upon in the corporate world, I was able to break down those barriers. My time at Nordstrom provided more in-depth exposure to social media marketing. All along, I still kept my WNBA connections. While I gained more valuable experience, I had a desire to be my own boss.
Armed with her basketball knowledge and social media savviness, Kayce was determined to reach new influencer heights. Enter her other love, Kayce’s collection of shoes.
Kayce Is All About The Kicks
Using her connections from her Storm days, she became involved with WNBA Kicks, a platform that highlights female sneakerheads. And herself being such, it was a perfect match. In a 2019 article on Slamonline.com, Kayce highlighted her vast collection of over 200 different pairs of sneakers. I’m sure which has multiplied since then. So I had to ask, “if you only had one pair you could wear, which ones would they be?” A question that took much thought. She finally narrowed it down to two. Nike Air Max and the Jordan 1’s were her go-to. After some more inward debate, she settled on the 1’s because of their versatility.
Kayce’s Interview With Kobe
I asked Kayce to talk about the most memorable moment she has had or a person she met where she was like, “did that really happen?” Taking very little time, she pointed to the interview with the late great Kobe Bryant. She described the scenario at the 2019 WNBA All-Star game, in which producers informed her out of nowhere.
With no preparation, they (show producers) came to me a few minutes before. They told me I got two questions with Kobe. It was probably a good thing since I didn’t overthink it. I came up with a couple of questions on the spot, and it really turned out well. It is probably one of my best interviews in actuality. Also, a moment that I will always cherish.
This provided another valuable lesson, always stay prepared. A key to Kayce’s success. Some people would have melted with those constraints, but the infamous one thrived under pressure.
Infamous Kayce Is Her Own Boss
The now influencer with over 300,000 Instagram followers has carved out a nice spot in the world of sports and fashion. Her independence has allowed her to thrive on so many levels. She has worked with basically every major sneaker brand, the WNBA, producing series on Twitter and Snapchat, collaborating with Marshawn Lynch, among many other ventures. With all this success, Kayce still stays grounded. As she explained,
I’m not one person for social media and a different person off. I don’t broadcast my entire life, as I do cherish some privacy. But, what people see is what they get. I think that’s why I have gained many followers organically. People look for authenticity, and people can identify with me because I’m genuine.
Clearly, there are many aspects to my career that are exciting. I get to travel, meet numerous influential people, and make lifetime connections. But it’s still a job. People think, ‘Oh, it’s just a picture or short video.’ but they don’t see everything that goes into it. The editing, constantly having to be in tune with everything going on, sometimes being accessible 24/7. I think finding a proper balance is key. If one doesn’t, it could literally drive you crazy.
With hard work and determination, Kayce is in the process of building an empire. She has many other new projects in the works. Find out more about Infamous Kayce on Twitter, Instagram, or her website. Also, look for her in the Playmaker-produced This Day in Sports series on Snapchat.