Posts filed under 'Designer Profiles'

Designer Profile: Kasil Jeans

Kasil Jeans \"Regan\"David Lim, an artist with a flair for fashion, creates some of the most sought-after jeans in Hollywood.  What’s his secret?  His “painter” frame of thought.  Read on to find out more about this “painter” concept, what it’s like behind the scenes of the Kasil studio, and what’s up next from Kasil.  Reporting by guest writer Riyan Mynuddin.

Omiru: Tell us the story of how Kasil Jeans got started.

David: My father, who makes costumes for the film industry, runs a custom tailoring business.  One day, he had left some denim on the table.  Working with local patternmakers and washhouses, I used it to try making a pair of jeans for myself.  It worked out well, so I moved on to custom-make jeans for my dad’s clients.  One thing led to another, and I ended up launching Kasil Jeans.

O: What makes your collection unique?

D: Unlike some of the other premium denim companies, we use premium Italian or Japanese denim, depending on the style.  You can tell the difference; you’ll notice that both our men’s and our women’s jeans fit really well.  At the end of the day, we make sure to incorporate the details: sleek lines and fine craftsmanship.

O: Who wears your collection?

D: Just off hand, Ashton Kutcher, Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, John Travolta, Angelina Jolie, Lindsey Lohan, some of the “OC” girls, as well as cast of Desperate Housewives.

O: What’s your bestselling jean style?

D: For women, the Eleanore (a simple boot cut jean) is the best-selling style.  For men’s: the Victory fit (straight leg, mid-rise).

O: What’s your background in fashion?

D: I have a fine arts background and worked in the movie industry for awhile.  From there, I honed my skills in fashion design.  Denim is one of those products that encompass the “painter” frame-of-thought.  Painters understand that light shades bring details forward and dark shades take them back.  In denim, if you darken the inner thigh, the jeans will slim the appearance of the model.  Sanding the front and darkening the outer thighs can further exaggerate the effect.  Just like skilled painters, our wash techniques involve a lot of blending.  You need to sand the denim just the right way to get a classy, sophisticated look.  You need to understand how to contrast one hue of blue with another, and how to make an appealing fade from light to dark.  Balance is key.

Kasil Jeans \"Celine\"O: Describe a typical day at Kasil.

D: We’ve got two dogs running around all the time—they keep us entertained.  There are days when it’s very hectic, and days when it calms down a little.  We’re a small staff (only about 15 people), and while we try to maintain a collaborative “family” environment at work, we do get a dose of Office Space-like drama.

O:  Tell us more about this Office Space-like drama.

D:  Well I don’t want to give you too much information ; )  But when show-time is coming up, there are lots of deadlines.  People are more alert—more tense.  If someone doesn’t meet a goal or get where they should on time, then we need to work together and figure out how to fix it.  The environment must be collaborative, and can be really demanding.

O:  Have you ever taken a printer out to a deserted field and beaten it with your bare hands?  Or…a baseball bat?

D:  Very funny.  As a matter of fact, I’ve been suggesting that we get a punching bag at our office.  (That way, you can kick it, hit it, and do whatever you have to do.)  That might be a good way to relieve stress.

Kasil Jeans \"Triumph\"O: If your house were burning down, and you could only keep one thing in your closet, what would you keep?

D: There’s a G-Star Denim Jacket that’s been a favorite of mine recently.  But to be honest, I would just let the whole thing burn.  Clothes can be replaced.

O: What clothes have you worn that you’re now ashamed of?

D: Everybody has those!  In spite of the Kasil line, I have to admit that I still have a soft corner for my classic Levi’s.
 
O: What are you inspired by?

D: I am a very observant person.  I see what other people wear.  I look at women’s shoes, purses, and accessories.  I look online at catalogs.  I have a sharp eye on tennis shoes.  Inspiration needs to be taken from everywhere. I’ve been inspired at the beach and even in the woods!  Sometimes my most vivid inspiration arrives when I leave the city and clear my head.

O: What’s your definition of style?

D: Style is form.  It is your expression and your identity.  Most of all, it is your signature.

O: How has your style evolved over time?

D: I usually change my personal style in line with the four seasons.  I can go for months in dressy, sophisticated styles.  Then as the season changes, I ease back into the casual.  I’m all about a clean start.

O: If you were to design a new product line to add to your current business, what would it be?

D: I’ve gotten really good with jeans.  I would love to make a brand-new denim brand.  However, I’ve also recently given some thought to casual sneakers.

O: What’s your design philosophy?

D: Simplicity speaks.  Designs shouldn’t scream for attention.  Elegant, sophisticated designs are timeless.  My mentality is minimalist, with a focus on clean lines.

O: Are you high maintenance or low maintenance? 

D: I would say that I’m high maintenance, and my girlfriend would agree.  I like the good things in life.  Good food.  A bottle of wine.  At the same time, I’m a pretty big homebody.  I can be content just watching a movie at home.  But I wouldn’t go as far as to say I’m low maintenance.

O: What up and coming trends do you see?

D: Things are going towards straight and skinny.  You can expect to see cleaner washes and less hand-sanding from us.  We’re also going into some really skinny jeans—the “cigarette pants.”

O: On the flip side, what’s going out of style?

D: The boot cut is going out of style, along with jeans that are over-embellished.  Jeans with jewels all over the place are starting to look cheap.

Kasil ScoodieO: Skinny jeans – in or out?

D: Definitely in.

O: Where can we buy Kasil Jeans?

D: To name just a few stores: Lisa Kline, Fred Segal, H. Lorenzo, and Searle.  Online, you can find them at Shopbop.com.

O: What’s up next for Kasil Jeans?

D: Scoodies.  It’s a fun thing–a hood and a scarf melded together.  We have multi-colors in pima cotton and cotton jersey.  In Fall 2007 we’re launching a blazer collection called Kasil Heritage.  Be on the lookout for our high-quality men’s and women’s blazers.  We also have plans to branch out toward t-shirts in Spring 2007.

O: Last words of wisdom?

D: Live life simple.  Eat well.

Find Kasil Jeans online at http://www.kasiljean.com/. 

7 comments March 14th, 2006

Designer Profile: ROXS by Shakara Ledard

ROXS PictureWith a family full of fashion fanatics, it’s no surprise that ROXS founder Shakara Ledard chose the path of a fashion designer.  In her own way, though, Ledard took the road less traveled–her clothes are wildly fresh, highly creative, and made of the best fabrics. Omiru got to chat with the talented designer to get the scoop on her oh-so-fashionable life.

Omiru: How and when were you bitten by the fashion bug?

Shakara: Interestingly enough I’ve always had an interest in fashion design. There are doodles from when I was in kindergarten. It’s always been in me. I used to raid my parents closets. I would style all these little things and put on fashion shows. My whole family is in the fashion industry. My parents are in retail. My uncle is in manufacturing. I have an aunt who is a designer. All of my schooling was in fashion [Art institute in Florida].

O: What made you start ROXS?

S: It offically launched in September of 2005 at the Coterie show in New York. It’s such a difficult show to get into–they select the designers. I was thrilled that I had been accepted. I showed amongst the greats like Sean John and Polo Jean. My second collection, we just showed 10 days ago. We had our first runway show in New York, which was extraordinary.

O: What does ROXS mean?

S: My partner
named it. I wanted something funky. We wanted the rock and roll feel.
One of my phrases, though it’s kinda corny, is “man that shit rocks.”


O: What makes your collection unique?

S: My attention to detail that are in the price points that I’m in. In the fall collection, we have a lot of amazing plaids and intricate embroidery. Really high end tailoring, very well made pieces that I rarely come across in the price points I’m dealing with. We’re trying to stay below $250.

O: What are you inspired by?

S: It comes from everywhere. It can be quite overwhelming. I can look at a tree and look at the color of the leaves and think, "that would look good in print." I pay so much attention to everything around me. I pay attention to everyone around me…from the Hassidic man to the African with the Jamaican colors. The world is my inspiration. Everything. Everyone. A dog’s collar with leather and spikes - I incorporated it in my collection. Some of my ideas also come from dreams.

ROXS PictureO: Describe your collection and who wears it.

S: The first collection has sweats made of 100% silk terry. The feel of the fabric is extraordinary. Unbelievably luxurious, hand stitching hidden details, great studs; I paid a lot of attention to detail.Very feminine cuts, very flattering. Loungy, a bit boyish, but super sexy and feminine. I made sure that my tops have extra rib around pouch areas to cover the trouble spot. The 22—35 age range is what we’re targeting. We’re about hip younger women (not girls) that are really interested in creating their own style. They don’t so much follow what fashion dictates.

O: If you were to design a new product line to add to your current business, what would it be?

S: I would love to expand into men’s, children’s, swimsuits, lingerie, eyeglasses, accessories, shoes, bags, belts, home furnishing. I want it all!

O: How has your style evolved over time?

S: I look back at pictures 10 years ago. It depends on my mood. I have three residences; Miami, NY, LA, and each one has a full closet. Each is different from the next. What I wear in NY, you’ll never see me wearing in Miami. My environment dictates my fashion and personality too. In NY I’m edgier, rock and roll, intense. In Miami it’s all about flowing and feminine pieces. LA it’s about comfort, a bit sexier.

O: Quick pick: New York or Los Angeles?

S:
LA … I don’t like grind of New York. I love nature, I love water. I
love quiet. I love to pick up and go somewhere. I need that in my life.
I need that connection with nature. The people are much more laid back
in LA; they’re quite friendly and much more inviting. People pay a lot
more attention to health. I love yoga and acupuncture.


O: What’s your definition of style?

S: I’m about creating your own. Not really having the same boundaries that society has set within fashion. I love London, for example. Extraordinary sense of style as a city across the board. They’re not afraid. I really respect that.

O: Do you care about what you wear?

S: I don’t care about how I look anymore. It takes so much energy for me to create. I live in my pajamas.

O: If your house was burning down, and you could only keep one thing in your closet, what would you keep?

S: I would have to say my ROXS zip up skull hoodie. I wear it every single day. It’s a black zip up hoodie; the whole back is a skull printed in pinks and black and blue. It has studs going down the back. It’s really an unbelievable piece. It’s so comfortable and beautiful.

O: What clothes have you worn that you’re now ashamed of?

S: One item (woo wee); my father bought me…a dress. Was it prom maybe? It was absolutely at the time just amazing. It was this fuchsia asymmetrical multilayered strapless dress. The bodice was strapless with fuchsia lace over it. It had a fuchsia satin bolero. Oh, and also my Indian MC hammer pants.

O: What up and coming trends do you see?

S: I have no idea what the trends are. I go where my instinct takes me. My instinct has taken me to what’s in…like really wicked plaids. I am seeing more and more plaids. I would like to create a really extreme drop crotch pants. With say a really wild t-shirt that had a corset built into it. I just pulled that out. That would be outta control. NY and Japan would wear this.

O: Where can we buy ROXS goods?

S: 70 stores nationwide; 10 internationally. Lounge NY, Bugatti in Dubai, Fred Segal in LA, Jigsaw on Melrose, Taste in Atlanta, Lulu in Bell Harbor, Miami.

For more information on stores carrying ROXS, visit www.roxs.com.

5 comments March 8th, 2006

Designer Profile: Julie Garland

Julie Garland is a jewelry designer that truly embodies Omiru’s mission of “Style for All.”  Her designs aim to be timelessly beautiful, and her affordable price point (most designs are under $50) keeps her collection accessible.  

Julie Garland BraceletOmiru: What makes your collection unique?

Julie: The mix of materials, the variety of designs and the price points. I use wood, suede, leather, gemstones, glass, and crystals – a little bit of everything really! I don’t feel like I have to stick to one medium so I experiment with whatever catches my eye. I also think the collection offers a great mix. From big and bold to dainty and delicate, there are classic, minimalist pieces but also more elaborate, intricate ones. The collection is really affordable too – quality designs for prices that won’t break the bank!

O: What’s your design philosophy?

J: I try to create timeless styles that mix simple lines with gorgeous color combos and playful accents. I design the pieces to complement any look – whether it’s dressing up or going casual chic!

O: Who do you design for?

J: I design for women of all ages - women that like pieces that are classic but that also incorporate current styles and trends.  I design jewelry that I want to wear and hope that others appreciate its style and see the pieces as something they can make their own.

O: What’s your definition of style?

J: Put simply, I think style is the creative way you express yourself. People with great style express themselves with imagination and individuality.

Julie Garland EarringsO: How has your style evolved over time?

J: I used to be much more of a slave to fashion trends, but now I think I’m savvier about choosing styles that work for me. I also think I’m better at punching up a look by picking the right accessory - whether it’s an oversized bag, a long scarf, or a bold, colorful choker.  

O: What are you inspired by?

J: I can be inspired by something as simple as the color or shape of a gemstone. Or it could be an overall look I admire and am motivated to create pieces that work with it. I’m also a fashion website and magazine junkie. Inevitably something strikes a chord, and I start designing!

O: Are you high maintenance or low maintenance?

J: I’d have to go with high maintenance. I’m a perfectionist always trying to do things better, and I probably stress too much about little things.

O: How did you get started designing jewelry?

J: I guess the story starts with the season I spent in Puerto Vallarta working in marketing/PR for a chain of high-end jewelry stores (escaping winter and practicing Spanish were just lucky bonuses to the job!). I fell in love with all the beautiful gemstones surrounding me. After my stint in the tropics, I settled in Dallas, TX, and immediately began taking jewelry-making courses. I was hooked! It started as a hobby, but soon I was designing for family and friends.  I decided to launch Julie Garland jewelry in the spring of 2005.

Julie Garland NecklaceO: If your house was burning down, and you could only keep one thing in your closet, what would you keep?

J: A pair of Blue Cult jeans that are perfectly worn in.

O: What clothes and/or accessories have you worn that you’re now ashamed of?

J: Overalls and acid wash…I’ve already burned the pictures!  

O: What up and coming trends do you see?

J: The nautical look, skinny pants, feminine lace/crochet accents, cropped pants, shirtdresses and neutral colors. As for jewelry I think long and layered necklaces will remain popular. I think we’ll see romantic components like filigree and flowers and also big chains, chunky chokers and earthy jewelry with wood, turquoise and shells.

O: On the flip side, what’s going out of style?

J: I’m not sure anything ever really goes out of style! Just wait a while and it will be recycled back into the fashion mix, but without Jessica Simpson pushing the Daisy Duke look, I don’t think cowboy boots have that much staying power.  

O: What’s up next for your online store…and your next collection?

J: I’m constantly adding to the collection! Every few weeks, new designs are posted. In the next six months or so I’m hoping to expand my product line to include big, bold rings and to offer unique metalwork done by my own hands.

See more of Julie Garland’s jewelry designs at www.juliegarland.com.

Add comment March 6th, 2006

A Profile to Idolize and Love | True Love & False Idols

Alexander Erdmann (a.k.a. Alexander 2tone) is one half of the SoCal-based label, True Love & False Idols. With his partner, Alexander Vaz, the duo produces hip-hop inspired men’s tops that transcend the concept of street style and meticulous artistry. 

The partnership between the two Alexanders developed through an interesting process.  As a part of the graffiti crew, L.A.’s AWR Graffiti family, Alexander 2tone clashed with Alexander V’s graf clan, the "Klobber Crew."  As their rivalry evolved, they often met under challenging circumstances on the the streets of SoCal.  Eventually, their differences subsided and they decided to let bygones be bygones.  Then, in an unlikely tryst, the two met again at the wake of a mutual friend.  To totally squash their differences, Alex 2 and Alex V.  collaborated to form True Love and False Idols in remembrance of their friend.

Seen on the backs of celebrities such as Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda, TLFI’s stands out from other labels as an unapologetic brand that combines fashion forward graphic design and ingenious versatility.  Omiru had the opportunity to talk with Mr. 2tone.  


O:  How and when did your interest in fashion design start?

A:  It actually started because I was a graffiti writer and when I was 16, all the guys that I ran with started doing graphics for a company that is now called Green Apple Tree.  I was just always around graphics.  I kind of dabbled – did a lot of freelance work –before settling into fashion.  It was never really a conscious choice.  It kind of ended up that way because I have always been an artist, and it’ss been the area in which my style was most applicable.

O:  Based on the origin of the label, what kind of insight have you gained in your personal business life?

A:  Basically, it’s all about relationships.  That’s the one thing that has remained true.  You’re only as good as your relationships with people.  It’s really good to cultivate them properly and to keep that going because I wouldn’t be anywhere if it wasn’t for the people I knew.  Everything has been through somebody I know. 

O:  What is the background to the name of your label?

A:  Well, the real true story behind it was that I wanted to start a company called “False Idols” and my partner wanted to start a company called “True Love.”  We just came together and it made sense.  If you want to go further into it, with “true love,” we are doing what we want to do out of love.  

O:  What sets your collection aside from those other urban labels?
              
A:  We definitely aren’t an urban label.  Although we do have those tendencies, we are probably urban by default because of where we come from.  You know, our stuff is very designed and thought oriented.  We don’t really trend spot.  We don’t really follow what the next guy is doing.  The stuff is very thought out.  There’s a lot of nods, smirks, jokes and a lot witticisms that may or may not be smart.  There’s a lot of attention to detail – the attention to detail is probably a little overdone because it drives me insane.  If you would take the shirts and look through a magnifying glass, you’d find notes in the artwork.  I pretty much hand draw everything.  I draw every font, every bird, every alligator – whatever the thing is, I’ve drawn it.

O:  Besides punk and L.A. street style, what are some of your more obscure inspirations?

A:  Yeah, my inspiration is a bit more obscure.  Of course there’s music and all that other stuff involved, but I get a lot my inspiration from movies and literature.  A lot of my inspiration is probably my own pathology.  It’s my own problems, issues and thoughts.  Like, whatever is there, I’m grabbin’ it, usin’ it and stickin’ it on a shirt.

O:  What are you tired of in fashion?

A:  To say we don’t trend spot is kind of a lie.  I am very aware of what’s going on.  But the thing I do hate in fashion is the fact that when a company does well, there are five or six companies that emulate that style.  I think that’s kind of boring and it plays that company out. 

O:  One of your shirts stated, “You’re only as good as what you steal.” Do you try to intertwine some sort of social message in all of your clothing?

A:  There’s no trying involved.  It’s just gonna happen. I have another shirt that has a flying squirrel and it says “Cocaine Breakfast.”  It makes no sense, it’s ridiculous, and people love it. It’s pretty much me – I am really serious and pretty silly at the same time.  I have another shirt coming out in the summer – it’s got a little social commentary on it.  It says, “Praise the Lord, Pass the Ammo.”  It’s got an M-16 and a cross – those are big no-no’s for department stores.  I mean, I can’t help it – I’m 31 years old, I listen to NPR –  I’m not a bimbo, you know what I mean?  It’s not like I am sitting here watching MTV all day.  I’m really aware of what’s going on.  It bums me out because this is my only outlet at times.  On the other hand, I will do the goofiest things you can imagine. 

O:  How do you keep the style of T.L.F.I. from becoming too “ordinary”?

A:  We’re about to go into a project for fall and as far as pushing the envelope, we definitely pushed the envelope to the point to where I don’t know what we are going to do next season.  We really over-design everything.  We take it as far as we can take it, without it it just being obscene. 

O:  When do you think you will be 100% with your fashion career?

A:  Never.  As soon as we get our sample, I’m in love with it, I go nuts and then by the time production hits, I can’t stand it.  I don’t even want to look at it.  I can’t even wear my stuff because I am just in it so much – I just hate everything (laughs.)  It’s just from being exposed to it too much – I just need to take a break from it.  Once I do something really good, I’m like, “what’s next?”   I’m already planning in my head how to improve it. 

O: Your clothing has already been selling at Nordstrom, M. Frederic and Fred Segal.  Do you plan on expanding to other stores?  If so, which stores?

A:  My thing is to grow within our means.  At this point, it’s two guys running the show.  Being that I am already here too much as it is – I can’t be here any more than I am
I just want to keep it within our means.  Also, I don’t want to burn out the brand.  You know, we could’ve thrown it in any major store that we wanted to blow it out to make some money, but we are trying to establish some longevity and build a good base.

O: What fashion season do you prefer?  Fall or Spring?

A:  I grew up in Venice by the beach – and it was the spring season.  But after we did fall – man – I loved the jackets and hoodies and what you could do.  I’d say spring just for the colors and the casual, but fall for the jackets.  But you know what?  I like fall because it’s an excuse to layer some stuff.

O: What was second on your career list to fashion?

A:  Actually, I went to UCLA film school.  I’m still keepin’ my eye on that.  I still write and do all that stuff.  That’s where I get a lot of inspiration from – my writing. Honestly, at the end of the day, that’s where I plan to end up.  At the end of the day, I just want end up sitting at home writing. I mean, this is really fun, but I maintain those other interests because I don’t want to forget about it.

O:  What clothes have you worn that you are now ashamed of?

A:  Oh sh*t – I don’t know.  I would like to say Cross Colors, but I don’t think I actually bought any.  Actually, I just admired it from afar.  That whole era – I mean, when I was a kid, I was into graffiti and rap – that was my whole thing.  That’s what I came up in.  It’s still there, I’m just a lot more subdued.  There has to be a ton of embarrassing sh*t.  I used to wear PNB and Triple 5 Soul back in the early 90s. 

O:  If your house was burning down and you could only keep one thing in your closet, what would you keep?

A:  It would be one of my brims – one of my stitchy brim hats.  I’d have to take one of those because they are a constant with me. 

O:  What can we expect from T.L.F.I. in the future?

A:  In the near future, I’m thinking we are going to keep progressing forward.  Basically, our thing is reinterpreting everything.  We’re not a couture line.  I don’t have a heavy fashion background – my partner does – but my whole thing is that men want to wear things that are comfortable and casual.  We are bring the design aspect of everything to the highest we can take it.

 
For more info on True Love & False Idols, check out their site: www.trueloveandfalseidols.com
 

Add comment February 27th, 2006

A Lust-worthy Designer Profile | Materialust

Materialust Mexico Shirt

This week, Omiru caught up with Alfredo Malatesta of Materialust, an upscale travel-inspired T-shirt line launching on March 15.  Read about Alfredo’s inspiration, his travels, and his distaste for horizontal stripe sweaters…and check out Materialust goods next month at Fred Segal, Lisa Kline, American Rag, Intuition, and Scoop!

O: Tell me a little bit about what Materialust is about.

M:
Materialust is right now a contemporary upscale t-shirt line. The core
concept behind it is an emphasis on international travel. People
obviously have an emotional connection to traveling and different
cities around the world they’ve gone to in the past. The mantra is
“Choose your destination.” For each season, we’re going to introduce
new cities and a lot of special artwork that we have dug up and
licensed. Some of the stuff goes back to the 70s and even the 30s. The
artwork comes from everything from vintage cocktail napkins to travel
brochures and pamphlets, a particular event that took place in that
city, and mementos from different cities around the world. We try to
really create an experience through a t-shirt by introducing beautiful
artwork on a great fitting t-shirt.


Omiru: How did you get started in fashion design?

Materialust: I came from the music business and a company called Trunk Ltd. With Trunk Ltd, the whole concept behind it, with the rock artwork, it’s almost parallel to the music business. The fashion business, to me, is just an extension of the music business. At the end of the day, I don’t really consider myself too much of a fashion designer. I’m kind of more like a brand developer or in marketing.

O: What does Materialust mean? How did you come up with the name?

M: It’s really similar to the word “materialist.” A friend of mine said “materialust” one day, and I thought “Wow, that’s such a great name for a line” because it doesn’t necessarily mean materialist; it’s more of a lust for material things or the appreciation of great material things.

Materialust BombayO: What’s your philosophy behind Materialust?

M: The philosophy would be developing something that consumers are going to have an emotional connection to. For example, one of the cities we’re going to is Tijuana. The second they see that name or see artwork from there, that might strike some kind of a chord with them. What we’re creating in terms of the product itself – because I’m so West Coast minded and I’m originally from the Southern Hemisphere, it’s all about comfort, great fit. That’s what I’m always aiming for.

O: Have you done a lot of traveling and have you been inspired by the places that you’ve gone?

M: Absolutely! I love traveling and that’s what gave me the inspiration to start the line. When I was in the music business I got a chance to do a lot of traveling. And being from South America myself, I’ve been exposed to so many different cultures. The US is truly a melting pot with lots of different cultures. People for the most part have an appreciation for other cultures, and Materialust is a way for us to introduce some really cool things from faraway places that people may have never seen before.

O: If your house was burning down and you could only save one item from your closet what would it be?

M:
There’s this t-shirt I got on the last trip I took to Peru.  I
hiked the Inca trail and at the end of the journey bought a t-shirt
that said “I survived an Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.”  I
would keep that shirt not only for the really cool artwork, but also because of its emotional value.  I
actually got engaged on top of Machu Picchu so it has a special
meaning. (Altogether ladies: Awww!)

Materialust India ShirtO: What clothes have you worn in the past that you’re ashamed of?

M:
Too many to pick out. Probably any and every sweater that was given to
me by a family member. Any horizontally striped sweater I ever owned is
a bad one.


O: What’s your favorite t-shirt from the collection?

M: The ones that are really fun to work with right now are the ones with artwork from Tijuana. There’s a lot of beautiful stuff from the 40s and 50s. It’s really colorful and it’s stuff that would be really difficult for any graphic artist to replicate. We have some artwork from a matchbook of a whorehouse in Tijuana. The way the artwork was laid out and printed on that matchbook is so cool because it’s messed up unintentionally…it’s really rad.

O: Which stores will carry your t-shirts?

M: For our first release we’re very lucky to have gotten into such amazing stores such as Fred Segal, Lisa Kline, American Rag, Intuition, Scoop. We’ve got a bunch of A-list accounts.

O: When does it launch?

M: March 15.

O: Oh, and price point?

M: T-shirts retail between $50 and $60.

O: Are you thinking about expanding and doing things other than t-shirts?

M: Oh, absolutely. First of all, we have the entire world to play with in terms of artwork.  We will forever be able to continue releasing artwork from different cities. But at the same time, I’d like to have the brand cover everything from outerwear to accessories. Things that are complementary to the international travel lifestyle but also have a contemporary edge to it. I don’t want it to look too much like stuff out of a traveling store at the mall. We’re going to recreate the vision of what travel inspired pieces are supposed to look like. I’d also love to do a kids line.

O: Anything we missed?

M: Our website (www.materialust.com) should be up within the next week or so and it’s going to be a fun little experience to check out. Keep an eye out for the line because it’s going to be continuously changing, and there’s always new surprises coming out with the artwork. We don’t really try to repeat too much, so the shirts are kind of a limited edition.

3 comments February 23rd, 2006

Designer Profile: goldiechan clothing

Goldie Chan Designs

This week, Omiru caught up with our friend Goldie Chan, a SF Bay Area based fashion designer focusing on urbanwear.

Omiru: How did you get started in fashion design?

Goldie Chan: I first started in middle school by hand-sewing garments using scrap fabric.  At the time, I also experimented with different forms of embellishment, such as embroidery and painting.  I have been designing my current fashion line, goldiechan clothing, since early 2005, but I have been designing in spirit since I first took a needle and roll of thread from my mother’s sewing box. 

O: What was the inspiration behind your latest collection?

GC: My latest collection was inspired by the bright red, blue and checkered patterns of the Indy 500, while the cuts were based on hiphop/freestyle dancer-wear.
 
O:  What’s your design philosophy?

I design with the fluid female (and sometimes male) body in mind.  I like clean lines and pure colors as well as unexpected materials and/or decoration.

O: What trends would you like to see for Spring 2006? 

I would love to see traditional flowy, sheer elements as well as the return of several pastels: yellow, green and blue.
 
O: What’s your favorite piece from your most recent collection?

My favorite piece from my collection is a very limited edition hooded black dress with faux burnout fur trim.  It symbolizes the elegance and suprisingly fun side of my clothing line.
 
O: Who are your favorite designers?

Vera Wang for her elegant and always timeless dresses and unassuming personality.  Calvin Klein for his innovative vision in stark ads and clothing (as well as his use of obvious sexual tension as a viable marketing tool)

O: Anything else you’d like to share with us?

I really love experimenting with new ideas and figuring out new designs from a pen or an old postcard.  As I grow, I hope that I’ll meet even more interesting and innovative people to learn from.

Add comment January 27th, 2006

Designer Profile: Shivani K

Straight on the heels of our recent fashion show coverage, we’ve decided to showcase local design talent. This week, we caught up with Shivani K, whose women’s clothing collection debuted at San Francisco Fashion Week. The line, which began in 2004, offers an impressive array of dazzling pieces, from a crinkled long-sleeve shirt with diamantes to a silk-lined gold lace top with chiffon ties in the back.
 

 

 A Shivani K design
(courtesy of SF Fashion Week)

Omiru: How did you get started in fashion design?

Shivani K: At the end of my first year in law school, I decided to take a break because I knew I did not want a career in law. That summer I [went] to be with some relatives in Bombay, India. I needed something to pass the time, so I taught myself to create outfits. Friends of friends started to take notice, and eventually I was making so many pieces and enjoying it so much that I decided to put my efforts and resources into doing [fashion design].

O: What is the inspiration behind your current collection?

SK: Personality and feminine strength, based on the energy emitted by women in my life, from my mother to my best friend to colleagues I admire. There is a commonality among them. Each top was inspired by a different person.
 
O: What is your design philosophy?

SK: Luxury, glamour, versatility and longevity. [Luxury because] each piece is lined with premium fabrics such as silk charmeuse. Clothes should feel good as well as look good. Glamour because every day is important. Versatility because I believe clothes should blend into your wardrobe yet maintain their unique character. Longevity because the quality is important, and there should be an air of timelessness about piece. I also try to make pieces that can be worn throughout the year without looking silly.

O: What are your thoughts on the San Francisco design scene?

SK:
I wish more well-known boutiques that carry bigger brands would also support the local design community to boost visibility…Not a lot of national attention is paid to San Francisco. There isn’t a glitzy or internationally appealing scene in this city. [Because] a lot of designers get overlooked for better-known brands, one feels forced to move somewhere like L.A. or New York.

O: Who are your favorite designers?

SK: I love the original works of Coco Chanel and Christian Dior. Their work was completely unprecedented, but what they did set them apart and steered the entire concept of fashion in a new direction. More recently, I admire the work of Rochas, Lanvin and Armani. I saw a documentary on him [Armani] once, and he said he didn’t put superfluous buttons without a buttonhole on his clothing–that pared-down and practical approach to clothing really impressed me.

 
O: What trends do you foresee for Spring 2006?

SK: As a caveat, I am the worst person to ask about trends because I firmly believe in the importance of dressing for your body. For spring I would like to see variety as a trend, an increase in casual flattering trousers, a continuation of tasteful lace detailing, delicate prints, pencil skirts,  the return of the seamed stocking, lower necklines and sexy details on the back. The back is what it’s all about in ‘06!

For more information on Shivani K, visit www.shivanik.com

Add comment November 30th, 2005

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