Interview: 'Who's your Dad?' Dennis Kil
Meet Dennis Kil, this dad of two runs KIL&SANT Publishing-Concepts-Development, where he works as creative director They publish TRIBU-TE NL magazine: a high standard hairdressers magazine. Recently, a renowned marketing leader has called their magazine ‘a love brand’. Kill is a storyteller, a consultant, a visionair….well and most important of all an inspiring dad.
In his spare time he still works as a hairdresser in Amsterdam for one day a week. For almost four years he lives together with the love of his life: Danielle Sant. He has two almost grown-up kids. A son named Rocquin (16) and a daughter named Jazzmin (20) from a previous marriage. They both are in school and have a heavily packed schedule with sports, friends and homework.
What is the first thing you did when you found out you were becoming a dad? And who was the first one you called?
Oh gosh…that’s a long time ago! I remember that the first people we’ve told were my parents. They were having diner in a restaurant in Utrecht and I couldn’t wait telling them. So we ran over.
Can you tell us something about the way you handle parenting? Are there specific values? What do you teach your children?
I’ve always lived an unusual life. I travelled all over the world and wasn’t always home in the weekends. Compared to the other dad’s I was looking like a Rock Star: had painted nails, always dressed in black, crazy hair, had make-up on (well, it was the nineties!). But when I was home, I was really home. I would spend quality time with my kids. I don’t want to teach my children. I rather inspire them. Quality is more important then quantity and being who you are is more of importance. There are so many others!
How did becoming a father change your life?
It didn’t! Becoming a father didn’t change my life, but having a daughter … Oh my God I was just in my 20’s and was over the moon with the birth of my little princess.
Do you have specific values that are of importance when it comes to parenting?
-What I think what of any importance is: give your children a save haven, show them values and respect. Be there when the need you. Be a guide not a teacher. When I was young I put myself against teachers. When they told me: go left, I would go right.
Do you often juggle with work and being a father?
Yes of course. It isn’t always easy to be a divorced dad. I think many divorced dads will agree. They life with their mother, who is doing a great parental job. And as they are growing older, they have their own busy lives. We’re traveling a lot and that’s not always easy to match up, but I do my best and so do they.
How are the roles divided between you and your partner?
When my children are with us (Danielle and me) there are no specific roles. When we are with the four of us we all do our best to have a great time and have fun.
Can you describe your personal style? What are your favorite brands? Name 6 of your favorite wardrobe items.
I think I’m quite boring (most of the time others may disagree), but still different than mainstream. I’m always dressed in black and never leave home without of one of my many hats. As it comes to brands: I’m an individual with my own identity and really not a fashion-victim. I do appreciate style and fashion, but for many years I look the quite the same. My favorite wardrobe items: my hats of course! Too bad that wearing a hat has become a fashion thing! My favorite designer is Rick Owens.
How do you like to see your partner dressed? Is there anything in your partner’s wardrobe you really hate?
Hahaha…not any more! Everything I hated I sponsored to Humanitas. She hates shopping, so I buy the most of her clothes. That means that now we are both dressed in black!
What is your favorite destination? And if you have the opportunity to pack your bags with your family to move anywhere in the world, where would that be and why?
We really create our own little world and that’s where I feel comfortable. But when it comes down to food or temperature? I prefer Asia and I feel a strong connection with California – USA. Don’t ask me why, but I feel at home there. But if you ask me now at this moment: it would be a place where’s peace and we are save.
What is the latest gadget you bought? Which gadget cannot be missing (out) in a dad’s life?
That would be a hat I bought in London last week. In London I buy the most of my hats. Without a hat I feel naked. I’m a real hatter!
Name a dad with style that inspires you.
Johnny Depp. For me he is the most handsome man in the world. He looks effortless stylish.
What was the stroller you used for your kids?
Darling! That’s more then twenty years ago…I really don’t have any clue! Oh…comes to my mind: I’ve had a banana… How do you call such a thing: I carried my children on my body.
What is your ultimate daddy must-have?
My children. Otherwise I wouldn’t be a daddy! And of course it’s important to have patience, empathy, a strong heart and lots of love.
Name any restaurant in the world which is your favorite and why?
There are too many. We travel a lot and in every city we have our favorites.
We are very loyal to the restaurants we feel at home. They know us by name and know what we like to eat. I know exactly where in the world I should buy my favorite wine, fish or meat. Going out to diner doesn’t mean it has to be expensive for me. Sometimes you can find me three times a week at The Golden Chopsticks in Amsterdam for lunch or diner.
What are your favorite holiday destinations with kids?
Last holiday we’ve travelled throughout Thailand with the four of us. That was the most special holiday ever. They are at an age that I can have a cold beer and a good conversation with my daughter and being mischief with my son. We have mutual interests as a good Thai Massage, food and the search for adventure mixed with chill-time.
What do you do when you are in need of inspiration?
My challenge is that I never run out of inspiration. Most of the time I have some kind of voices in my head and they may not be real, but they have an overdose of good ideas. Hahaha…
When you go out with your friends, in which club can we find you?
When I was younger you could have find me in the clubs couple a times a week. Nowadays I’m more selective. I choose my parties and festivals carefully…. As I do with my friends.
What’s your favorite drink?
A good glass of Whiskey.
What is the best place to go to with kids in the weekends?
Like I’ve said before we have mutual interests. So when they are with me you can find us in the gym, shopping and eating nice food.
Are you aware of your health? Do you exercise to stay in shape?
Because of our Rock ‘n Rolla lifestyle and of course my age, it’s good to be conscious about your health and body. We eat very healthy and hit the gym for four times a week.
Name the three beauty products that always sit on your bathroom shelf?
Squalan facial oil, charcoal toothpaste special delivery from Asia and my signature fragrance from Marc Jacobs.
What is your favorite city in the world and why?
I don’t have one. There are many as Tokyo, Paris, Los Angeles, London, Amsterdam. All because of their own specific reason. It can be their people, their atmosphere or their culture.
Is there anything you want to do or accomplish?
Yes, I want to add value. There has been some one who said to me: ‘Dennis, you never want to be a man of success, you rather be a man of value.’ This has become my life-mission.
Name 3 things on your bucket list?
I don’t have a bucket list, I live mine!
What kind of car do you drive? What is your favorite family car and why?
I drive an old square black Jeep Cherokee. Pretty much a family car!
Where do we see you in 10 years?
I hope in the same company, still with Danielle, happy, healthy and maybe this dad becomes a granddad.
Any tips for new dads?
Don’t put all your valued time in becoming successful. Make more money then you really need so you can buy a bigger car, a bigger house and more expensive clothes. Invest your valued time in your children. They will grow up fast!
The Dad I would like to suggest for the next “Who is your dad” is……
-Enrico Scheffer – Wholesale director HUGO BOSS
-Sander van de Vecht – Founder Denim.lab
-Joram Barbiers – Owner Barbiers Orginials & De Hoop Amsterdam
Credits: Marinke Davelaar Photography