Every year the fashion industry turns out pap that they would have us wear and believe is the end all be all of the modern times, yet all too often outside of the wealthy trend setters that plague the television in the alternate reality television shows and stick figure models without two brain cells to keep their head warm, nobody in the music scene would be caught dead wearing. Everyone and their 3rd cousin would be a fashion designer, yet we are very lucky that some true visionary designers are out there, willing to take the standard street wear and make it wholly unique and fitting to the stars of the stage that light up our nights and make the music we breathe life from.
Kill Brand, an urban street wear and alternative fashion label has and continues to push the envelope and give us trend smashing threads and an ability to give our daily movement a message, in images and words blazed across the breast of today’s youth and paying homage to the pavement pounders of the Hollywood walk of infamy. In an interview with Jonathan Smith, head of Kill Brand fashions, I found that this is not a company based on spur of the moment but of grand design and thoughtful creation.
Note: the quotes and commentary contain strong and descriptive language, discretion advised.
XOM: Your motifs are raw, edgy and not for “the faint of heart”. Where do you get your design inspiration and who do you design for?
Just day to day life, I have a lot of weird notes in the notepad section of my phone. A lot are NSFW ( not safe for work). Some design ideas I may have I written down when I was drunk and are just not as great I thought they were going to be at the moment, today I saw one that said "Christian kale" and it would be Christian bales face replaced with kale... Ehhhh.
Yeah totally, it's amazing when I wear my “Fuck Everything” shirt how many people that are 60+ come up and complement me. I'm currently on my way to Mexico right now for a Thanksgiving / Holliday surf trip to live it up.
XOM: How long has Kill Brand been working towards such a fantastic following, where can we find your lines?
Believe it or not we have been around 12 years now and are only really still around because of the following we have earned. I'm really happy to have people that are supporters of the brand and appreciate the weird things we do. We don't run ads we don't really do trade shows, we just work hard and try to make cool stuff. Our main stores are Zumiez, Kitson, and Karmaloop.
XOM: Appearance is a very big thing , sometimes everything in the music world, your lines are popular with not just one genre of music and your clothes are worn by artists in the spotlight, would you say your lines are a hot commodity or that your following is loyal and not limited to one concept of fashion?
We do not limit ourselves to one style is fashion. We try move with the times and our fans and supporters.
XOM: Looking at your line, there is something for everyone, images, prints, logo variants and word based graphics, in addition there is a underlying spark of “mayhem” in the mix, have you ever though that the strong language may come across wrong, or do you feel your line speaks to a generation “fed up” with the establishment or social norms?
Yeah totally, it’s funny when we first started the word "kill" was almost too edgy to be worn on a shirt. Now it's become a part of the rebel youth to be loud and fearless about whom they are.
XOM: Thinking of your place, from where you started to now, where do you see the future of Kill Brand?
I don't know if we will ever be a huge brand that becomes a household name, and I'm totally fine with that. My whole life I loved supporting brands that I felt a connection to. I always liked the surf/skate brand that no one knew and I felt like I was part of something that was not mass produced or corporate. I hope we are that brand for some people out there.
XOM: From T-shirts to Leather, Kill Brand has it all, and there is something to love about all of it, are there any designs expansions concepts that you want to but have yet to explore?
We plan on stepping up a cut and sew game over the next few years.
XOM: You have a strong Men’s line, and the women’s line has a multitude of offerings, some uni-sex and could be worn by both, but I see you also have leisure / swim wear, something few dare to do, has this been a strong direction?
Yeah, we sell to a lot of women stores which is great because I love when I hear someone say "I'm gonna wear this to a club, or a metal show" etc. being able to give someone a chance to go out stuntin’ and feel like a badass is the payoff for why I do this.
Visit the website for Kill Brand Clothing and Accessories http://www.killbrand.com, and support the Independent designer company that thinks, feels and lives life to the fullest, just like you.