Q & A WITH THE FASHION DESIGNER !
Harold Kensington is a fashion designer in constant motion. When he is not working at his studio, he is on a shoot or literally running around town.
I was put in contact with Kensington last spring after a visiting friend from Manila urged that I to pull looks from the fashion designer for our test shoot.
The 25-year-old creative’s ready-to-wear collection titled LINE1_ is a new conversation of constant building and addition. LINE1_ is not assigned a specific season and gender.
Much like his work in progress, Kensington has been building a reputation for himself. He started off at Diane Von Furstenberg and continued on to another powerhouse Céline. He most recently spent time crafting at Kanye West.
Kensington currently works under his own name. His pieces have been worn by Travis Scott and Chris Brown in the December/January issue of VIBE.
The designer presents his latest collection shot by photographer Louis Trinh, featuring Darnelle Kirkwood and Kira King, along with some insight into his life.
Katrina Guevara: What is your fashion background as well as geographical background?
Harold Kensington: I studied fashion design technology at the prestigious London College of Fashion. I am originally from Nigeria, a populous nation in Africa that offers a vast amount of art, taste and forward thinking ideas. London would be considered my home. I have family there, and I have spent a predominant amount of my formative life in that city. However, both Los Angeles and Paris are definitely calling. I hope to spend several years of my life at these two places.
KG: Tell us about the completion of your most recent line.
HK: My current collection is called LINE1_, and it is enforced by the notion of wear. My line offers great style for its wearer and explores the current austerity of »comfortability.» There is no such word in the dictionary, so I am creating it. LINE1_ has several interchangeable, tonal twin sets in varied colors: ink, black and slate.
KG: What five words would you use to describe your aesthetic?
HK: Creative, practical, progressive, edited and fun.
KG: When it comes to the male and female silhouettes, how do you work around both forms in your clothing?
HK: I have noted archetypes and silhouettes that compliment both the female and male forms. I also applied this gender-fluid element to 95 percent of the collection. As a result, LINE1_ is predominantly wearable by all in relation to sizes of small, medium and large.
KG: Who are your muse?
HK: Rihanna and Solange. They wear essentials that I believe are only fitting to themselves.
KG: How is L.A. different in terms of inspiration from NYC and London?
HK: Being in L.A. is very liberating. Being in London and New York was also as liberating nonetheless. However, the novelty and combination of creativity I have managed to explore with the developing scene of fashion and the arts is quite favorable in Los Angeles.
KG: How do you remain disciplined in your discipline?
HK: Results! I love the process equally. Upon completing a task, meeting and/or project, I admire the notion that I have progressed from what I had knowledge of previously.
KG: Tell us about your mentors in the industry. If you could also have a nonliving mentor, who would it be?
HK: Currently, my mentors are the relationships I have with my on going collaborators. However, I would have loved to be a mentee of Yves Saint Laurent. His understanding and communication of the new breakdown and accessibility of essentials captured in the most luxury form, transcends time and trends.
KG: Would you consider being up-to-date on trends a big part of your life or are you into the classics? If so, what do you predict the mass will be in frenzy over this fall?
HK: I am big on classics. I feel it is more applicable towards all types of style and dressing. It’s the key to comfort! With a pair of well-cut trousers, form-friendly top and a slightly oversized coat, you have the ability to enjoy your moments and live them. There is such a ruckus around fashion, pain and being uncomfortable. I aim to change that.
KG: What are some day-to-day obstacles you work through?
HK: Processing all the logistics of running a brand, while balancing a realistic and relevant percentage of creativity and commercial success.
KG: If you could splurge on any item right now, what would you purchase?
HK: A visa or an attorney to increase my chances of getting one.
KG: Do you have any disclosable collaborations?
HK: I have several, but one of the ones I am most happy about is a custom piece requested for a current music artist. He is dominating both the charts and the touring scene. I am looking forward to seeing how my aesthetic translates on tour. Perhaps I may delve into stage performance and costume design!
KG: What was the last song that played on your music player?
HK: Amerie – «Paradise»
KG: Since you used to work under Kanye West’s fashion brand, what do you have to say about Yeezys?
HK: I think that the Yeezy line is an accurate display of fashion going a different direction. Fashion is a cult, and this is the new representation and focus. I have noticed that Yeezys either have the clean aesthetic or the faded, shabby chic. The line displays an ample amount of deconstruction, but daringly bold. The Yeezy line is successful due to the vast amount of individuals, thrift stores and established houses duplicating and adapting the hand-me-down and ill-fitted look.