Kyle’s got his fingers in a lot of pots, from creative director of AXS Folk Technology to creating some amazing pop ups and collabos for Urban Outfitters. So we thought we’d pick his brain. …
Tell us about what you do...
I am a creative director / designer for AXS Folk Technology, and director of special projects for Urban Outfitters.
Who do you think is making a major impact on the menswear industry right now?
I think Kanye West has the biggest impact on menswear as of now. I don't know if I think it’s a good thing or not. But the influence is very clear. Kanye West has spearheaded trends like all black, leather, washed out denim, bomber jackets, and high fashion intermixing with street wear. Designers and brands like En Noir, and Givenchy have been put in the main spot line due to Kanye as well.
Design-wise, what’s inspiring you right now?
I am very interested in architecture and design objects. I have been very influenced by the Post Modern design movement of the ‘80s and ‘90s. Works by artists/ designers like Peter Shire, Sottsass, David Hockney, Michael Graves, and Ron Nagel have really influenced my color palette and design aesthetic. I love the idea of ceramics from this time period as well. The idea of craftsmanship and a earthy material like clay intermixingwith bright pop colors and patterns of the 80s and 90s is really inspiring as well.
You do a lot of retail / experiential stuff for Urban Outfitters. What, in your opinion, is a key element in creating compelling retail spaces?
The most important part of retail is the narrative experience. In the age of fast fashion and online blogs and web stores, it’s really important that all the product that a store carries doesn't just seem like "product". A good store creates strong immersive narratives through curation and in store design. I am obsessed with Disneyland and how you are transported into a different reality when your there. Before I was doing clothing, I was working on film and interactive art. I use the same process as writing a movie as I do developing concepts for Urban. You need a direction/ theme for the store (script), and you need actors/ characters (product). If you tell a strong narrative for the product you live in, you will create an experience in which the consumer will desire your product.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to break into the business right now?
My advice into breaking into the fashion and apparel business is to just always be "Hungry". You need to live and breathe everything you do to make it work in this industry. If you think it’s a glamorous job, then you might have chosen the wrong career! haha