Just because the weather has been unbearably hot, it doesn’t mean your summer fashion is reduced to wearing flip-flops and SPF one million. Maintain your studly appearance with some stylish men’s shoes that are suitable for garnering the right kind of attention when worn with your favorite pair of jeans. We found some great desert boots, boat shoes and other stylish must-have menswear shoes that will have everyone giving you the thumbs up this season. Tip: swap out your plain white shoes laces with ones that match the color of your selvage seam. Bam!
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
Sneaker-heads, sneaker-pimps, and denimphiles unite! When two of your favorite fashion staples collide it’s sheer fireworks! There’s a lot of amazing kick-ass-kicks on the market this season!
Lanvin x Acne Spring/Summer 2010 Medium High Trainer
One of the best couture fashion and denim collaborations ever, Lanvin x Acne, continue to wow us with their fantastic denim collections. The Lanvin x Acne Spring/Summer 2010 Medium High Trainer comes with a denim upper with light piping, unlike last season’s dark piping. Shown here with the silk navy with red zigzag Medium High Trainers.
Tretorn x Comme des Garcons Shirt Spring 2010 Canvas Sneaker
Swedish label Tretorn and cult Japanese label Commes des Garcons has collaborated on a low-profile canvas sneaker. The Tretorn x Commes des Garcons navy canvas low top sneaker with a green foxing band and white sole are simplicity done to perfection. An effortless style in a classic silhouette, perfect for a sunny summer day.
SHOP TRETORN X COMME DES GARCONS @ ODIN
Vans x Supreme Pack
From the masterminds of New York skate and streetwear, Supreme, have come out with another great collaboration with Vans. This new Vans x Supreme pack includes the Era lowtop and rarely seen Sk8-Hi Mid. There are two pairs of Eras, one with a white/blue mix and another in grey canvas, while the Sk8-Hi Mids go with the bleached look on the side panels with grey suede on the forefoot.
SHOP VANS X SUPREME
VisVim Skagway Hi-tops
Clearly inspired by Converse Chuck Taylors, the Skagway Hi-Tops from Japanese design house visvim’s Summer 2010 collection are made entirely of denim, not canvas. Gorgeous!
–Nikki Cho Russo
Tags: Commes des Garcons, Lanvin, Supreme, Tretorn, Vans, VisVim
By David Lipke
Acne??™s cotton jeans and Lova??™s TK tank top. DC Shoes sneakers.
Ben Sherman??™s denim shorts, Aviator Nation??™s hoody and tank top, all in cotton. J. Lindeberg belt; Common Projects sneakers.
Vans??™ cotton and spandex jeans, 7 For All Mankind??™s leather and cotton jacket and G-Star Raw??™s cotton and polyester sweater. Vans sneakers.
Key men??™s denim trends for spring include clean and classic five-pockets, skinny fits with stretch and shades of gray.
1. Classic, Clean Five-Pockets: Levi??™s never go out of style, said Jennifer Althouse, denim buyer at American Rag, and the iconic brand is the Los Angeles store??™s top seller. ???I always have a customer for this look. Young and old, they always come back to Levi??™s.???
2. Vintage Washes With Rips and Repairs: Worn-in styles command higher prices than clean washes, said Thomas George, owner of the E Street Denim stores in Highland Park, Ill., and Lake Geneva, Wis. ???The more work done to a jean, the easier it is for a customer to justify a premium price.???
3. Skinny Fits With Stretch: A growing number of men??™s jeans are incorporating stretch fabric for comfort and fit, especially in skinny fits. ???We do really well with Kill City in these styles, as they have a great price and interesting washes,??? said Althouse.
4. Overwashed, Faded Hues: Pale blue denim is ideal for spring and summer months, as it tends to be lighter and softer. ???This trend is very important in our spring assortment, as we??™re one of the only brands to offer such a supersoft selvage in an alternative to white,??? said Jerome Dahan, chief executive officer and creative director at Citizens for Humanity. At Seven For All Mankind, a pale ecru shade is a riff on this style.
5. Jean Shorts: Denim shorts have cleaned up and become less grungy for spring, according to Audrey Gingras, owner of New York??™s Archetype Showroom. Its April 77 label offered a selvage style for spring.
6. Gray Denim: An increasingly popular alternative to indigo shades, ???gray denim is a neutral that goes with a lot of looks,??? said Gingras.
Guess Jeans, Polo Ralph Lauren??™s jacket and What Goes Around Comes Around??™s Henley, all in cotton. Calvin Klein Shoes.
Levi??™s jeans and Earnest Sewn??™s shirt, both in cotton. St??ssy tie; Tiffany & Co. tie bar; Common Projects sneakers.
Kill City??™s cotton and spandex denim jeans, J. Lindeberg??™s wool blazer and CLU??™s cotton shirt. Common Projects shoes.
Click here to read the full article
–Nikki Cho Russo
Tags: 7 for All Mankind, Acne, Aviator Nation, Ben Sherman, Calvin Klein, CLU, Common Projects, DC Shoes, Earnest Sewn, G-Star Raw, Guess, Henley, J. Lindberg, Kill City, Levi's, Lova, Polo Ralph Lauren, Stussy, Tiffany & Co, Vans, What Comes Around Goes Around
The Olsen twins continue their world domination in the fashion world with a line for J.C. Penney Co. called Olsenboye, which will include denim, bottoms, tops, dresses, skirts, shorts, jackets, handbags and shoes. And for a pretty cheap penny, items will retail from $20-$50!
Kicking it on 42nd Street is Asics’, first time ever in the U.S., New York flagship store. The store opened its’ doors last Thursday, just in time for last minute shopping for the New York Marathon this weekend.
Read the WWD articles below.
–Nikki Cho Russo
Olsens to Launch Junior Brand for Penney??™s
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen are expanding their fashion reach.
The sisters, entertainers and marketers almost since their infancy who last week became members of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, have signed a deal with J.C. Penney Co. Inc. to launch Olsenboye, a junior brand that will be exclusive to the chain.
The collection will have a major rollout, set for 600 Penney??™s stores in February. But the company aims to generate curiosity among teens well before the launch with what amounts to a new marketing approach for the retailer built around previews, limited offerings and digital, guerrilla and viral marketing tactics.
The effort kicks off Monday with an Olsenboye truck cruising around New York selling merchandise and giving out cupcakes, balloons and pins, and empty racks in 50 high-profile stores will be covered in Olsenboye shrouds. Beginning Nov. 6, Olsenboye will be available on jcp.com and in those 50 stores, including the Manhattan flagship, for a limited time.
There also will be a teaser video for the preview collection on olsenboye.com featuring teen characters.
For the full launch in the spring, there will be broadcast spots, magazine print ads and direct-mail pieces. There also will be an interactive digital campaign on jcp.com, Penney??™s teen Facebook page and Twitter.
For the last several seasons, Penney??™s has been unleashing new labels and designer exclusives while culling out brands that have lost relevance, striving to modernize its image, catering to more of a teen and contemporary crowd and offering something different.
Among its consumer base, ???the propensity for trying and adapting new brands is terrific,??? said Liz Sweney, Penney??™s executive vice president and general merchandise manager of women??™s. ???We are stepping up our style to attract a younger customer??? with such recent launches as Bisou Bisou, I [Heart] Ronson, Allen B., Oxford & Regent and Twelfth of Eleven, all contemporary lines done in collaboration with designers and brands. Last month, Penney??™s launched its first contemporary label, called she said, created by its own design team. Arizona and Decree are among the key junior brands at the store, but the retailer also still sells more traditional lines geared to a more mature crowd, such as Worthington, and has just signed a deal with Liz Claiborne Inc. to be the exclusive retailer for the Liz Claiborne line. ???We love our older customer, as well,??? Sweney noted.
When it comes to price, however, Penney??™s has maintained its moderate, value-driven, promotional posture. Olsenboye, which is the Olsens??™ ancestral name, will fall into Penney??™s good and better price tiers. Olsenboye is a casual sportswear and accessories collection that includes denim, bottoms, tops, dresses, skirts, shorts, jackets, handbags and shoes. The line will retail from $20 to $50 and is being designed to be mixed to create different looks. The brand also will periodically flow in travel-inspired mini collections, each reflecting the looks and trends of different cities.
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Shop Talk: Asics’ First Retail Push…Vans Goes Pop
Asics??™ First Retail Run
Asics opened its first U.S. flagship in New York last Thursday near Bryant Park on 42nd Street.
The 1,100-sq.-ft. shop stocks men??™s and women??™s running footwear, apparel and accessories, as well as official apparel for the ING New York City Marathon. The store also houses a Foot ID 3D Scan machine, which uses both lasers and cameras to measure and analyze feet.
Asics Chairman Kiyomi Wada told Footwear News the company decided to bow in New York because of the city??™s large running population.
He added that in spite of the current economy, he was bullish about the debut. ???This is a chance for us to show that our business is strong,??? he said, speaking through a translator.
U.S. President and CFO Rich Bourne said this location will act as a testing ground and that there are no immediate plans for another unit. Looking down the line, though, Wada noted that other U.S. cities of interest would include Chicago and Los Angeles.
Asics??™ business has been growing steadily in the U.S., said Bourne, with stateside sales making up about 22 percent of the company??™s total business. ???We had double-digit growth last year, and we??™re determined to keep growing this year,??? he said. Bourne also cited the firm??™s marketing campaigns around big events like the Olympics and the New York marathon as drivers in helping to elevate its U.S. presence.
Vans Goes Pop
Vans, the skate-and-surf lifestyle brand, opened its Vault Shop pop-up last Friday at the Conveyor in Fred Segal in Santa Monica, Calif. The shop has taken over the entire Conveyor space and will house all limited-edition Vault by Vans products and Vans by Conveyor exclusives under one roof, as well as brand favorites and classics.
Also hitting shelves are special sneaker designs by artist Taka Hayashi. The Vault shop has created a gallery-like layout, with Hayashi??™s own artwork and inspirations for his shoe designs displayed until the end of October. The following months will introduce a new visual space and a completely new round of merchandise for consumers.
???What we??™re looking for is an opportunity to showcase the brand,??? said marketing and PR rep Chris Overholser. ???The best way for us to do that is in an environment where we can show our best product, and we can effectively tell the stories behind that product.???
If the shop exceeds sales expectations, more Vans pop-ups could roll out, said Overholser.
Click here for the full story
Tags: Asics, J. C. Penney Co, Olsen Twins, Olsenboye, Vans