A conversation with Christian Kimber
Twice a year, menswear designers, buyers, sellers and enthusiasts go to the Florentine tradeshow Pitti Uomo. One of people we met and who inspired us during Pitti is the young menswear designer Christian Kimber. Christian Kimber has gained quite a following in the menswear industry over the past year, producing beautiful Goodyear welted footwear in Spain for the discerning gentleman. The collection also includes a range of pocket squares, where inspiration for the designs are drawn from the countries Christian visits. Naturally when we got back, we caught up with Christian to find out more about himself and the future of the Christian Kimber brand.
How old are you & what do you do for a living?
I’m 26 and work as a Designer and Menswear Buyer.
What’s your background?
I am British born near Brighton and moved to Melbourne, Australia three years ago from London. I have only ever worked in footwear and menswear in London, I never saw another career direction fit for me really. As a kid my father told me to only work in an industry you love, as it will not seem like work. I took him seriously.
I’m not a trained designer – just very passionate and know what I like.
How would you define your style?
A stew of classical menswear and Marty Mcfly.
Before getting interested in tailoring what did you wear/what was your style?
I was more into what might be seen as fashion kit, which I think is a natural progression. Sneakers and jeans mixed with higher fashion brands, vintage Gucci loafers and McQueen/Margiela (when I could afford it). I am not embarrassed how I used to dress, I thinks it’s a journey you need to take to understand what you love and how you like to dress. I think I have become more confident to wear what I love over time. I always admired what my dad wore, I had to grow into it.
What has been your worst purchase/item you have worn?
When I was a kid my delightful mother used to dress me in velvet suits and matching hats/shoes. I guess this gave me the confidence to be very particular about what I wore. The start of my journey into menswear maybe was wearing the wrong size.
I also used to have a matching fluo Adidas tracksuit. Killer.
What were your highlights from Pitti this year?
Man 1924 was incredible and Eidos Napoli were by far my favorites from this most recent trip. I also loved what Mark Hare is doing and Del Toro. For me its as much about the talented designers behind the brands as it is the collections.
What is your favourite city to visit?
At the moment it’s between Hong Kong and Milan. I need to get to Japan next year.
I’m about to go to Sri Lanka so get back to me on this one.
What are your favourite stores & hang outs in London?
My favourites stores are; Drakes, Libertys housewares department, Private White, Anderson and Sheppard Haberdashery, RRL, Trunk, George Cleverley and most things on Jermyn street. I lived in East London a lot and there are some great stores around Brick Lane, I could never tell you the names but loved to go in.
Also try Lock & Co that’s a great store.
Coffee: Monocle Shop for a decent coffee. Know a better one? Please tell me.
Late Night: The bagel shop on Brick Lane for a late night stop.
Hang Out: The Hospital club is my favourite place to be. I met my girlfriend and a best friend there.
What would you buy with;
£5– Flowers for my girlfriend.
£100– Dinner somewhere fancy. Possibly Easy Tiger in Fitzroy in Melbourne. A current favourite.
£1000– A ticket to Japan.
So what should we expect from the Christian Kimber label in the next year?
I launched about ten months ago so we are still fresh but this year I have some big things happening. I am changing the way I do things a little and becoming more curated. I have some killer collaborations coming out too which I can’t tell you about yet, a lot more accessories and pocket squares, a new range of shoes, and what I am most excited about – a sneaker collection.
What was your inspiration for your forthcoming sneaker range?
I have always loved sneakers and wanted to create a shoe which was a cocktail of menswear and streetwear. I feel like there are little to no rules in streetwear if you compare it to menswear, so I have combined both of them to create what I feel is the perfect sneaker. I have been working on them for more than a year and they will be ready for production very soon!
You can find Christian’s collection at http://christiankimber.com/
Christian can also be found on instagram, @c_kimber – he’s well worth a follow.