I was born in Langley, B.C., and lived in Aldergrove until I was 3. Then we moved to Abbotsford and we have been living in the same house ever since.
What were you like when you were young?
I asked my parents this question because I figured they would be able to tell you better than I. The first thing that comes to my mom’s mind is that I was very particular about my clothes and what I wore. I always wanted to put together my own outfits, no matter how nonsensical they were. As a kid, I loved shoes and trying them on. Whether it was my grandpa’s giant oxfords, or my aunt’s pointed-toe pumps, if they made a clunking noise, they were the only important things in the room. Growing up I was pretty shy and reserved though, always feeling like my interests didn’t quite match up with my brothers, cousins and friends.
What were your interests in High School?
In high school I remember trying to find out what I was good at. What was my “thing” that I could pour myself into and excel at. I tried playing Bass guitar (after playing piano for several years); I even tried Break dance and Hip Hop classes. Nothing really captured and held my interest, so I put a lot of my efforts into academics, and found a real interest in my Law 12 class. This then led me to pursuing an academic career in Criminology at the University of the Fraser Valley. That lasted almost 2 years, but I found the classes about Criminal behavior and Criminal law to be very... disturbing. It was very dark subject matter and I just couldn't enjoy it like I used to.
Looking back, can you remember any signs that you would end up in fashion? A personal story would be great here.
To be honest, I never saw myself ending up in fashion. I had thought about it very briefly in high school once. I wanted to take a sewing class, but it wasn’t priority over my academic courses, not to mention the whole stigma towards guys in sewing classes was not something I wanted to be a target of.
I was originally studying Criminology, so since I made connections with the fashion faculty by taking the fashion electives, it was a natural move to progress in my fashion education at UFV. I had also seen the Absolute Style fashion show back in 2011 and was in awe of the creations that were sent down the runway. Up until this point it was only a dream that I would one day be showcasing a collection and specialty market garments such as a bustier, swim suit, coat, and jacket.
I had never touched a sewing machine before starting the fashion program in 2012. I was so grateful to the program faculty for accepting me into the program and willing to teach me from scratch. The first year was rough, many long days and late nights working on projects, all the while working a part time job to pay for my schooling and supplies. There was a point when I almost wanted to drop out. I felt overwhelmed and that this possibly wasn't the area of study for me. I would compare my projects to the other students and that, I found, was the most destructive way to think. Fashion can be a form of art; everyone has a unique perspective. Therefore you should only judge your work standing alone, and not in comparison to someone else’s.
The most amazing part of the program was the year-end fashion show. The sense of accomplishment and joy in seeing my creations walk the runway was indescribable.
What was the inspiration for your grad collection? Share anything you'd like readers to know?
The inspiration behind my grad collection was primarily Korean pop culture. In recent years Korean pop (K-pop) groups and singers have become popular worldwide. I was drawn to how their styles and performances are so eccentric and transformative. I wanted to fuse North American lifestyle clothing with surges of K-pop inspired pieces throughout the collection.
Describe your collection – customer, day-evening-sportswear-separates-casual-highend glamour-stage costuming-punk?
My “It” guy is someone who is nonconformist. He looks for a balance in comfort and unconventional style. The collection is spring/summer casual street wear that fuses tonal blacks with lively colours, and showcases bold prints.
What is the palette? What fabrics did you use?
The palette for the collection includes the colours cobalt, teal, and acid yellow, with tonal blacks making the occasional appearance, and a couple statement prints: the geographic multicoloured print, the zigzag knit, and the graffiti pinstripe. The fabrics include high quality cotton sateen, canvas, french terry, bamboo knit, stretch poplin and ponte de roma.
Do you have a favourite look?
It is so difficult to choose a favorite of the three looks I sent down the runway. The first look, the cowl neck slim fit tee with the pullover vest and drop crotch harem pants are the perfect casual comfort yet stylish look. I can see the pants being a very popular item that reaches beyond my target market. The second look, which has a mix of the graffiti pinstripe canvas pants with the ponte de roma jacket, is such a statement. The fabrics of both the pants and the jacket were the soul inspiration for this look. For the last look, I wanted to create a look that married the previous two, all the while making a statement of its own. That’s why this look is suiting, presented in the most unconventional form. The bold print and unexpected silhouette make this look my feature look for the collection.
What do you think you can bring to the fashion world that is new?
I would like to think I could refresh what North American menswear is. While honouring tradition, introduce new and exciting elements to create a more diverse range of clothing for men.
Where do you go from here – are you going to work for others for a while, launch your own line, take a break and travel?
I’m not exactly sure where I want to go from here. Currently I am a product manager in a clothing retail store, merchandising. I would like to work my way up the corporate ladder and eventually be a part of the product development and pattern development team. Before that, I may take some time to live and work abroad and experience different cultures. I’m excited for what 2015 and the years to come have in store.
|Images by Photo-Schuetz|
Please share a quote on what fashion design means to you?
“You can be comfortable without ever compromising glamour.” ~ Donatella Versace. I love Versace and her words are wise. The reason I work clothing retail, the reason I want to design, is so that when someone tries on one of my garments and looks at himself or herself in the mirror, they will smile. They will feel comfortable and attractive, if I can help even a few people to feel that way, then it is all worth it.
To reach Kevin Hunter please email the designer at email@example.com.