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
We popped in the AGENDA show (a show which promises to showcase everything from “garage-run lines on the verge of explosion to the established elite”) on its last day of operation and in the midst of menswear madness, snagged a copy of NYLON Guys January 2011. We did a quick scan for denim details in the (we must say, fantastic) issue, and snapped shots of them for your viewing pleasure. Scroll down for a quick dose of menswear denim dessert to follow your lunch break…
“Rags to Riches”, an editorial piece on new menswear label Penny Stock features photo of designer John Moore (alongside fellow designer Michael Abbey) sporting the classic breast-pocket denim jacket. Their line, inspired by the classic penny loafers, is really picking up steam…
The results of Levi’s collaborations with various labels to reinvent the classic denim trucker jacket are reported on page 38, featuring the Levi’s Workwear by Pendleton, modeled by Chris Rayner.
Writer Alan Bissett of Glasgow rocks a pair of dark wash skinny jeans and bright white dress shoes in a feature on the city’s coolest young artists, musicians, and visionaries. And let’s not forget the top hat.
The street style corner houses a handful of sharply dressed gents with experimental hair and super-skinny jeans. Vests, wool-lined leather and denim jackets, and killer shoes that could be just as much formal as they are street, are also common.
In a feature on lined boots, an easy fitting pair of Marc by Marc Jacobs jeans are modeled by music producer Briane Hatcher.
A feature on earth-toned jeans on page 84 has us craving an organic mid-winter color story. We love the picks by Diesel, J Brand, Rare Man, and Edun.
A puff jacket roundup (those are coming back into style, by the way) features a great pair of Bullhead jeans on club promoter/skateboarder Caleb Keller. We love his style—the quintessential downtown New Yorker.
A gorgeous winter fashion editorial singing praise to layered cashmere, flannel, and some of the warmest textiles a guy can bury himself in while still remaining stylish features model Max Krieger in TOPMAN, Steven Alan, Rachel Comey, American Apparel, and Marc by Marc Jacobs.
We could go on forever (such as in depth coverage of the incredibly sexy Paz De La Huerta and her imperial name), but we want you to buy the issue and see for yourself! Subscribe digitally or in-print to NYLON Guys here.
—Michelle Christina Larsen
Tags: DENIM, denim advertisements, january 2011, menswear, Nylon Guys, nylon mag, penny stock, Spring 2011, Top Man, white denim
If you’re trying to wean yourself off of denim, then you’re out of luck. Topshop Topman is going for the jugular, with its offerings of denim footwear, wallets, hats, even a neck chain! If the name sounds familiar, Topshop Topman is the men’s department of Topshop, the international boutique and brand made famous with the help of supermodel Kate Moss. Topman also has a neat little collection of denim jeans, as well as a suave denim blazer or two.
Just launched this week:
Topman’s edgy AAA Collection. Design Director Gordon Richardson wanted to create a mainstay music-inspired collection that “made you look and feel like a rock star.”
For Autumn/Winter 2010:
Look for Fairisle sweaters and toggle coats for Topman’s Autumn/Winter 2010 collection. Cargo pants will continue to play a role in Topman’s fickle fashion foreplay in the frosty months (They currently carry Nautical and edgy!).
Lots of goodies are currently 30% off (Hey now!), so it will dampen the pain of shelling out the big shipping fee if you live outside of New York City. Lucky Manhattanite students can stroll in and save 15% off by flashing a valid student ID card.
– Kathy Ng Hassan
Tags: denim accessories, Top Man