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An Exclusive Q&A With Kill City Jeans

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.

—Jackie Racer


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Posted Sep 29 2011 in Denim News » Interviews

Our Favorite Mens’ Denim Shoes, Part 1

We’re obviously denim-crazed, but we have a similar passion for shoes. When the two combine? Perfection. Well guys, the good news this independence day is that we’ve rounded up our favorite denim shoes for you to try. These kicks are the style-secret of the summer and we’re letting it out! Whether you’re off to the office or kicking it on the beach, you’ll love these picks from brands like Nike, Levi’s, C1rca, Rivieras, Lugz and Armando Cabral. By pairing the denim with accents like leather, studs, and fraying, this look is hard to resist, but it does come with a warning: jealousy and (in extreme cases) theft from your significant other is very likely.


1. Rivieras 20? Denim Espadrilles ($99) — buy it at United Arrows.

2. C1rca 99 Vulc Skate Shoes Brown/Denims ($85) – buy it at The House.

3. Levis Denim Boat Shoe (on sale $35) — buy it at Jimmy Jazz.

4. Lugz Men’s Strider Casual Shoe ($45) — buy it at Finish Line.

5. Nike 6.0 Dunk High “Sad Autumn” (not yet released).

6. Armando Cabral (available later this year).

Elyssa Linden

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Posted Jul 04 2011 in Denim Fashion » Trend Alert

WWD News: Spring 2010 Jumpsuit Trend: Singular Sensations, School Ties… MAC Taps Cyndi Lauper and Lady Gaga… Patti and Robert…Steven Madden Inks Deal for Olsenboye, Mums the Word at Bergdorfs, Lance Armstrong in SoHo: Bike Night

Yes, jumpsuits are a singular sensation as WWD reports.  It is nice to hear that they will continue to be a hot trend for Spring 2010 so I can keep on wearing the ones I have and, of course, add a few more! I absolutely love anything from Zero + Maria Cornejo and what about that Rachel Roy…she has some great affordable pieces out. 

Steve Madden continues the madness of the Olsen twins fashion takeover with a licensing deal to do shoes and accessories for the Olsenboye line for J.C. Penney.  These girls are on fire with their multiple lines and what a smart move for Steve Madden to jump on the gravy train.

Bergdorf celebrated the 25th birthday of the famous eatery, Indochine, with Narciso Rodriquez co-hosting.  Definitely a NYC institution that had iconic artists, fashionistas, celebrities and let’s not forget us common folk, eat, drink and be merry there in the hey days of the 80s and 90s.  Happy Birthday Indochine!

Live Strong!  Lance Armstrong has proven to do so and then some.  On Friday night Lance opened the new Nike-sponsored Stages exhibit at Deitch Projects in SoHo, which supports the cyclist’s foundation.  New York based artists who participated were Ed Rusha and Tom Sachs, who I adore. Make a trip down to Deitch Projects to view the show.

Get ready, FrostFrench, a label founded by Sadie Frost and Jemima French, are back in full force! Next week, the label will unveil a boutique on Noel Street in London??™s Soho. 

Read today’s highlighted articles below.

–Nikki Cho Russo


Spring 2010 Jumpsuit Trend: Singular Sensations

Styled by Bobbi Queen

Jumpsuits have taken a flying leap back into the spotlight, returning in versions that range from utility looks that recall intrepid paratroopers to second-skin glamorous styles.

(Left to Right – Photo By: Kyle Ericksen)

1) Zero + Maria Cornejo??™s linen and viscose version. Frye boots.

2) Sue??™s stretch silk and spandex jumpsuit. Dr. Martens boots; belt from Barbara Flood??™s Closet.

3) San & Soni??™s belted cotton, linen and ramie jumpsuit. Eric Javits hat; vintage boots.

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Posted Nov 03 2009 in Uncategorized

WWD News: Skatewear Sector Shows Rapid Growth, Glamour’s Picks, Wallpaper’s Guest Stars

Skatewear Sector Shows Rapid Growth

by Khanh T.L. Tran

From WWD ISSUE 09/02/2009


Comune (Photo by Courtesy Photo)

Comune (Photo by Courtesy Photo)

Skateboarders are used to pushing the limits with acrobatic stunts; now they can be adventurous in their fashion choices. 

From Nike and Sport Chalet to DC Shoes and Vans, men??™s skate brands are extending their retail reach and launching new clothing lines. 

Nike Inc., the world??™s largest athletic apparel and footwear company, unveiled a 3,400-square-foot shop in Laguna Beach, Calif., in July to highlight its four action sports brands: Nike 6.0, Nike SB, Hurley and Converse. In an airy loft with exposed brick walls and rusted steel beams, shoppers customize boardshorts, try on sneakers while sitting on blanket-cushioned wood boxes, and also snap up art books, collectible toys and jeans, among other merchandise. It??™s an art-in-action concept the Beaverton, Ore.-based company may expand to other cities, a spokesman said. 

Brooklyn Projects took advantage of falling rents and rising interest in skating to open its third shop in Pasadena, Calif., last month. Converse, the Nike-owned shoe brand best known for its canvas high-tops, plans to offer T-shirts and baseball caps for skater boys next fall. And DC Shoes is capitalizing on the popularity of Rob Dyrdek, one of the pro skaters it sponsors, with a holiday collaboration of water-print Ts, baby-blue striped sneakers and leather jackets, all retailing from $28 to $490. 

Skate shops seem to be more resilient than their surf counterparts during the recession. A study commissioned by Surf Industry Manufacturers Association, an Aliso Viejo, Calif.-based trade group, said skate-focused stores tallied sales of $2.85 billion last year, which was the same as in 2006, the last time the report was issued. Surf-focused shops, however, posted a 6.8 percent decrease in sales to $2.47 billion in the same period. In those two years, 156 surf doors shuttered, resulting in 7.4 percent fewer stores. 

The skate sector has ???been one of the highlights in this very slow economy,??? said Paul Smedley, senior merchant of apparel at La Canada, Calif.-based Sport Chalet. 

Sport Chalet reported a double-digit increase in sales at its skate-centric shop-in-shop, Project Fifty Nine, which is in five of its 18 stores across the West. Double-digit growth is also giving a boost to Vans as it solidifies its strength in skatewear. 

Click here to read the full article


GLAMOUR??™S PICK: Glamour magazine never reveals its Women of the Year award winners before its annual event in November, but insiders told WWD one of this year??™s winners may be a surprise to some given her recent legal imbroglios: Rihanna, who has recently made headlines as much for her tempestuous relationship with Chris Brown, who was found guilty of assaulting her, as for her singing. The event, which will be held Nov. 9 at Carnegie Hall, celebrates inspiring, high-achieving women. Last year??™s winners included Nicole Kidman, Tyra Banks, Maureen Chiquet, Hillary Clinton and Condoleezza Rice

Meanwhile, the magazine also is plotting its Fashion Gives Back initiative and has tappedJason Wu, Alejandro Ingelmo, Pamela Love, Brian Reyes, Bensoni and Abigail Lorick of Lorick to design a limited edition shopping tote, proceeds from which will benefit dress For Success. Wu??™s bag features gradient lines that darken to black, while Bensoni??™s depicts oversize lipstick kiss marks in bright colors. Each bag incorporates the designer??™s signature. The bags sell for $35 and will be sold exclusively at Bloomingdale??™s and starting this week. The bags, along with 900 copies of Glamour??™s October issue ??” which hits stands Sept 8. ??”will be featured in the windows of Bloomingdale??™s 59th Street flagship in New York.

The October issue has a feature on Fashion Gives Back with profiles of the participating designers alongside a celebrities such as Jessica SzohrAmerica Fererra and Lily Collins. Past Fashion Gives Back Designers include Marchesa, Doo.Ri and Rachel Roy

??” Amy Wicks and Sophia Chabbott


WALLPAPER??™S GUEST STARS: Wallpaper has marked the third year of its guest edited series by asking Karl Lagerfeld and Philippe Starck to each create covers and editorial for the magazine??™s October issue. And both newbie editors have eschewed the idea of a regular, two-dimensional magazine cover. While Lagerfeld has shot his current muse, Baptiste Giabiconi, clad in a Dior Homme suit for his cover, he??™s added a layer of paper to the magazine, which those inclined can peel off to reveal Giabiconi naked. Lagerfeld has also shot a 27-page editorial for the title featuring Giabiconi in locales such as the Queen??™s Theater in Versailles. 

Starck, meanwhile, has designed a cover made of three layers of translucent paper, featuring an amoeba, a monkey wearing shoes and a question mark, to depict what he sees as the different stages of evolution. His editorial also takes a cerebral approach, featuring interviews with scientists, physicists, cosmologists and artists. Starck said he??™s approached his editorship with ???a mission to make intelligence sexy.??? Both Starck and Lagerfeld??™s editorial will appear in all editions of the magazine, not just those with their respective covers. 

???Like their illustrious predecessors, Lagerfeld and Starck have made full use of their prime piece of Wallpaper real estate,??? said Tony Chambers, editor-in-chief of Wallpaper. ???Their covers have pushed the boundaries of magazine design and production.??? 

Past guest editors of Wallpaper have included Louise Bourgeois, Zaha Hadid, Hedi Slimane, Jeff Koons, Rei Kawakubo and Dieter Rams

??” Nina Jones


–Nikki Cho Russo

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Posted Sep 02 2009 in Uncategorized
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