If you are looking to find, create, and discovering your own style then we’ve got a killer option for you with the very distinctive jeans from Kill City. We had the opportunity to discuss styles that reflect great color, wash, fit, and function that just about anyone can relate to in our exclusive interview with Head Designer Paul Roughley. If you’re looking for a good read this afternoon, this is it. Check out the fall 2011 lookbook and read on to learn more about Kill City behind-the-scenes.
Denim Therapy: Lets start from the beginning. How did you know you wanted to be a designer?
Kill City: I was always interested in art & design as a kid, I didn’t have much concentration for subjects like English and Math and through my schooling and further education only excelled at anything involving pencils and paint brushes. After school I moved onto art college and through astute tutoring and my interest in music and fashion my teacher suggested I study for a BA in Fashion where the graduate opportunities are more frequent for employment than Textile Design which was originally my chosen field of study.
I helped to launch Kill City in January of 06 after 9 years of employment in the Fashion Forecasting Industry and design positions in New York and Los Angeles. In 05 premium blue denim had definitely peaked, I strongly believed that there was room for a brand at a sub $100 price point and a customer that lives and breaths music, art and fashion that has a distaste for the idiocy and ugliness of hyped, over branded and embellished clothing.
DT: Are there other denim brands you consider your immediate competition? How do you differentiate yourself from the hundreds of popular denim brands afloat right now?.
KC: Not really, there are common brands that share our customer wardrobe like Cheap Monday, RVCA, Obey and Insight but they are heavily marketed brands chasing a very specific customer.
Our products are about color, wash, fit and function that anyone can appreciate, we’re not dictating or implying that you have to ride a skateboard, hang out at galleries and wear a specific cap and sneakers to represent our brand. Artists, musicians, misfits and weirdo’s come in all varieties and as an eclectic mix of consumers is welcome and inspiring.
DT: Do you have any pre-designing rituals?
KC: What do we hate, what are we tired of seeing and what can we not find. This applies to fit, color, fabric and wash and we build upon our core skinny jeans.
DT: Describe the person who represents your ideal target customer—the customer you have in mind when you’re planning a collection.
KC: Creative, artistic, intellectual, open minded, loner, misfit, reactionary cynical haters.
DT: What would be your dream collaboration? Any plans of that in the future?
KC: “Hmmmmmm”……I’m not so inspired by working with another brand that also has a strong identity, I’d be happy to use a template with the consent of companies like Vans, Levis or Nike for jeans and shoes. Maybe a store collabo with Top Man UK or Beams Japan would make me smile or the opportunity to design jeans for a designer like Gareth Pugh would be epic!
DT: What are the most popular washes/fits in the line? What are your favorites, and how would you style them?.
KC: Our skinnie’s are most popular by far, the Junkie fit which is our skinniest (13″ leg opening) followed by our Wire which is also slim (14 1/2″ leg opening). As far as washes over dyed black, black wax,and our printed stretch twill styles always sell well. Personally my styling advice is to always make sure that your silhouette always leans towards being proportionally looser/heavier on top.
There’s nothing worse than seeing a guy in loose jeans and a tight tee shirt. I’m fairly simplistic in throwing an outfit together, slim jeans paired with a well fitting short sleeved crew or v-neck tee and a short jacket works every time. It’s hard to educate people on color, to be safe black works every time.
DT: Do you have any favorite/least favorite denim trends right now?
KC: The list could be long and bitter but I’ll keep it short.
Light wash jeans in loose fits and functional jeans with military styling in loose fits ( A prevalent trend in Europe). Most denim travesty’s are really consumer driven versus trend driven and the root cause is people not understanding what fit and wash/color is suitable to their body type.
DT: Street style and style blogs are huge in the industry right now as a source of inspiration, influencing the high end labels rather than vice versa. How much does street style influence your designing?
KC: Always, I very rarely observe runway collections, they have no bearing aesthetically or monetarily on my lifestyle or the consumer I design for. Street style is organic, you can be inspired by a guys styling on one blog and turned off on an item that is overly represented across all blogs.
DT: How many pairs of denim do YOU own?
KC: 50 to 75 any time though I only wear three, APC New Cure, Kill City Wire vintage blue with black spray and Kill City Wire in black wax coat. All of the other jeans I archive for future use and I always buy jeans at flea markets like The Rose bowl for wash and construction reference.
DT: Favorite celeb wearing your brand?
KC: Pass…. I dislike celebrity endorsements, Christian Audigier was the king of celebrity bull shit, Los Angeles based designers are doing a fantastic job right now and Christian almost single handedly fucked it up for everyone who’s based here trying to design with ethics, passion, quality and good taste.
I receive images often of well known people wearing our stuff but we rarely utilize it, our point of view is to use non celebrities in creative fields to represent our brand. We made Shaun White some American Flag jeans to wear at The Winter Olympics, he gets a pass from us because he’s a cool guy, down to earth and a bit mad.
DT: Kill City: what’s behind the name, for those who don’t know?
You can visit the Kill City website to find retail locations or shop onsite and please “like” them on Facebook.
Tags: beams japan, Cheap Monday, exclusive interview, gareth pugh, insight, Kill City, Kill City Jeans, Levi's, Nike, Obey, q&a, RVCA, skinny jeans, Top Man, Vans