Happy Wednesday amazing bloggers and readers!
I have another amazing interview and all I will say is.....KILL EVERYTHING! You guys will love this one, promise! They have some awesome dope pieces, you have to check out.
CC: Hi AJ! Tell me a little bit about KLR Whales?
KLR: “Well, I would have to start at the very beginning. I started searching for an animal that I thought would make a good camouflage when the Killer Whale came to mind. I am a research junkie so I proceeded to do so and discovered that the killer whale just might be the most interesting animal on the planet! They Speak 17 different dialects, they hunt in packs using different complex techniques that involve team work, they are the only animal that is found all over the world, and they eat sharks and larger whales! Need I say more? So the concept that manifested itself was that these animals are a great example of how through communication and combining our talents and efforts we can kill everything and eat together”.
CC: The power of research! Tell me where it all started for you?
KLR: “My designer roots reach way back to my days as a young artist whose parents couldn't afford the Jordan's and all of the hot brands that the kids were wearing at the time. So I took a pair of jeans and used crayons to draw graffiti all over them! Before you laugh there's a few things that I would like you to know. 1. It worked, 2. I got mad love from all of the teachers and students and became the man all in one day! That is when I discovered the power of fashion and my ability to create a very lucrative future”.
CC: By any means nesscary huh (laughs). I saw that your team is made up of global designers, fashion experts, artists and etc. How big is diversity within the Fashion industry?
KLR: “Diversity exist in fashion but our way of building at KLR is a new model that will take the world by storm. Our mission is to commercialize entrepreneurial Collaborations by producing a brand that encourages the joining together of individuals who have mastered their craft. In this setting great thinkers who haven't had any design experience but have good ideas are coupled with designers that can bring their dreams to life”.
CC: Ok.... it’s so many street wear brands out there, how does KLR Whales raise the bar while staying current and most importantly, being original?
KLR: “We are a brand that can move faster than the other brands period. We can design and produce the piece in the same day, whereas other brands have to design and wait to get everything in for the season. This gives us a huge advantage. Another strong attribute of our brand is that we only produce 10 pieces of each item. This gives us the ability to keep our clients super fresh and to bring out more themes and looks per season. For every store that carries the KLR brand we create a limited edition collection just for that store so that no two boutiques will ever have to battle or put our brand on sale! And the fact that I design custom sneakers for celebrity clients and major sneaker brands is an unfair advantage.... But I guess that fits in the APEX predator concept”.
CC: I have personally known you for about 7 years since watching you paint shoes in Tower City!! What was the biggest obstacle you’ve had to face thus far throughout your career?
KLR: “Dealing with people that don't believe in you and just want to use your talent to get them ahead has been my toughest challenge throughout my career. I felt like Lebron before the exit, giving my all trying to stay and hang in there but failing due to a lack of true team effort. When you have a star player like that you won’t win Championships by benching him or not letting him do what he does best. Everybody wants to be an artist or designer or even star player and call what you do easy and under value your presence until you are gone. Successful people are those who win battles that no one knows is happening in the mind and manifest that through their passion and execution. I guess you can say that I took my talents to the south beach and became a KLR WHALE. (laughs)”.
CC: Customizing sneakers…. Briefly, walk me through how this happens because I have watched you transform some pretty dope sneakers!
KLR: “The process for me goes as such, find a dope sneaker, strip it with acetone so that it will take the leather acrylic paint, PRAY.... and listen for instructions lol Something dope comes out every time! The research and fashion Encyclopedia that I have mentally accumulated over the years is crazy, so I normally beat out the competitor with my details and depth to the concept. Everything has a meaning and purpose. I don't just make stuff. When designing shoes like the Brooklyn Zoo's I sketch the idea first. You know... The Blueprint”.
CC: Being from Cleveland, a city where we get overlooked within the fashion industry. How do you stay believing in your brand?
KLR: “That is the easy part. If you can capture Cleveland, you can capture any market. Look at how they carried Bone! The one thing I know from running many retail stores in Cleveland is that once the people get a hold of something trend wise, it’s going to be around for a while. It’s also cool when I am talking to someone in the industry and they expect that I grew up anywhere but Cleveland and I tell them that I have spent most of my adult years in Ohio. You should see their faces. Priceless”.
CC: I agree that’s why I love saying I am from Cleveland because of the surprised face! Lastly, The Prevailing Effect is someone who has prevailed and overcame many obstacles in life to get where they are today. Do you consider yourself a “Prevailing Effect”?
KLR: “I am definitely the Prevailing Effect poster boy! I have experienced extreme highs and lows, but my faith in what GOD created me to be, won’t let me quit! People in the city have seen me do so much and go through many trials in entrepreneurship that when they see me they ask me "what are you doing now?" I simply reply while handing them my new business card.... Killing Everything”.
Website: SHOP HERE!