As someone who is always interested in up and coming brands, primarily ones with an LGBT focus, it gives me a great sense of adoration when there is one in particular I really like a lot that has had some fantastic developments to them, all within a short time frame. This can be said of the up and coming and booming clothing line Krave and Kulture, who just relaunched their website with four incredible new collections for the savvy & smart guy.
I got to know about Krave and Kulture about a year ago, through mutual friends and was quite impressed with the level of color, design, and most notably how they made their shirts and apparel available for guys of all sizes, whereas some tend to skew towards a muscle-demographic. You can see more of that in my original interview with K&K here. Now, CEO David Quintanilla has some fantastic advancements that he has made with his amazing brand and is very hopeful for its promising future. We sat down with David a couple of days ago to discuss it all, from his favorite moment since the launch of K&K, thoughts of putting his brand into an upcoming Fashion Week, and so much more.
So what has been the biggest update regarding K&K since our last interview?
Wow, so many things but I would say the most important factor is that we are manufacturing all of our products in the USA. This has changed the profile of our business and what is important to us. Not only do we have full control of fabrics, cuts and washes but we are producing ethically sourced clothing. To me this is the best part of the evolution of the company. We also realized that owning a brand we could make a difference in the community…so we made a pledge that with any shirt purchased we provide a shirt to meet the needs of homeless youth in our community. It’s small but it’s something that together with our customers we can feel good about.
What inspired you to do a complete 180 on the redesign of the website?
I wouldn’t say it’s a 180 as much as I would say it’s an elevated version of the same Krave and Kulture we released a year ago. We started with the idea of creating statement casual wear… tanks, tees, jackets hoodies etc. We catered to guys that liked effortless fashion and wanted articles of clothing that stood out in a crowd. Today we still design with that idea only we are thoughtful about how we create the product and who it’s for. This current collection looks very different next to some of the pop culture collections over the summer but that’s because for the winter we wanted clothing that would be easier to mix with guys existing winter clothing. We also spend a lot of time anywise the feedback and interests of our customers.
Your clothing line is still fairly new yet you have been around for over a year now. What has been the moment that you have been the most proud of since inception?
I’d have to say my most memorable moment was walking down the street one day and seeing a guy wearing a K+K shirt. I had no idea who he was and I walked up to him and said “cool shirt.” He replied “Right! I love this brand.” We didn’t know each other and I didn’t tell him I designed it. It was just cool seeing my stuff being enjoyed proudly out in public by complete strangers. So that was probably one of the coolest moments for me. Oh, and we were voted Best Men’s Clothing Brand and Best Online Boutique by a San Diego Magazine this past summer. That was pretty cool too!
Tell us about the new collections that K&K has. What makes each of them so different?
This line up is broken down into 4 collections:
So all the new shirts are made with premium quality materials. The fabrics are ridiculously soft and comfortable. We wanted them to feel “broken in” form the first day you wear them. We also have very cool subtle details such as how the stitching is done or certain cuts…taking an easy garment to the next level. We call our online store (kraveandkulture.com) the URBAN HABERDASHERY because we sell urban goods for classy guys. The new collections are:
Grafik- These are shirts with graphics that are inspired by street art. Each a bold urban statement with a variety of different application processes and textures.
Weekender- This is the “new preppy” look. Simple, stylish and layer-able pieces that are perfect for any guy on the go that wants to look good but doesn’t have a lot of time to pull a look together.
Ikon- These are tees that celebrate iconic artists of all mediums. In this particular set we everything from Madonna to Andy Warhol.
Krew- Is a mix of early and new designs presented a fresh urban way. These are the kind of shirts your going to wear to your favorite pub and the conversation is meant to start with the shirt!
Do you have a personal favorite out of all of them?
I love them all…Let’s be real, I design clothing I want to wear! Of course I have to make sure other people will like them too. I do have a favorite shirt at the moment, The Keith Tee from the Grafik Collection. The fabric is AMAZING and the fit is so good it flatters all body types!
When I hear the word “collection”, it makes me think of fashion week. Is that something that you would like to do eventually?
No no no, I mean I shouldn’t rule anything out at this point but I don’t consider our company a fashion brand. Krave and Kulture is lifestyle brand for men. I don’t design anything with a trend in mind. I design everything based on three self-made rules: comfort, creativity and originality. Not every guy is into high fashion, designer labels and polished looks yet it doesn’t mean you want to look like a slob either. Krave and Kulture is that happy medium between effortless style and luxurious comfort.
What other things does K&K have in store for the new year?
I’m always working on the “next” step. Ideas are in abundance….I can’t promise it will happen this year but the plan is to definitely expand the products we offer for guys. Pants, shorts, bags accessories…who knows maybe even grooming…I will say I have already started sketches on men’s swimwear so who knows!
Now that the sky is the limit for your booming business, what are you most hopeful for going forward in 2016?
We are hopeful that the Krave and Kulture train continues full speed ahead and that the company continues to be unafraid to evolve. I do look forward to collaborations like this past summer with the amazing co-designers Charlie Harding and Scotty Rage. We had a blast and created some rally kick ass stuff! I hope the future brings more experiences like that!