Kevin Kramp

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Kevin Kramp, 30. Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design, BA (Hons.) Fashion Graduate 2009.

– specialism: Fashion Knitwear.          

 

Design Background:

I received a first Bachelor’s degree in Visual Art with a concentration in Italian Studies from Brown University, and I have apprenticed and worked with designers and creatives from around the world, including in London: Victoria Beckham, Clare Tough, Hector de Gregorio, Liria Pristine. In New York: Richard Tyler Couture, Paper Magazine, Morgan d’Alessandro, Carlos Miele, Constanca Basto. In Italy: Massimo Pulini, Egidio Lomi, Gianni Moretti. In Brazil: Marcia Ganem, Cristiano Alves Borges.

 

What was the most valuable you learned before starting at your education?

I was very technically knowledgeable in garment design and construction skills. I also am very direct and won’t put up with people’s idiocy.

 

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Project title:

KEVIN KRAMP A/W 2009-10

 

Inspiration:

My St. Martins degree collection concept was based on my idea of a globally nomadic tribe of men who are the accompanying gang to a union ceremony of two of their brethren. They are life explorers and have banded together to discover what lies beyond their known worlds. Each character has a specific skill, ability or role in the tribe, and they continuously collect knowledge, ideas and moments of joy on their endless pilgrimage of beauty and manhood.

 

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Where do you get inspiration from in general?

My God what doesn’t inspire me?…The natural world. Men. Food. Colour. The possibility of creating that one brief moment when someone is taken aback by beauty.

 

How is your process when you design?

Every step of my process must involve beauty and inspiration. I fixate on beautiful objects in the world, draw them a great deal, canvas a wide range of yarns and materials that in and of themselves must speak beauty, imagine an inspiring character for these beautiful things, and make something beautiful for him.

 

What do you find most difficult about the design process?

The endless and excruciating insecurity of it all.

 

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What are your strengths?

I’m clever. and funny. and can consume an inhuman quantity of ice-cream in one evening.

 

What are your weaknesses?

Self doubt, ad naseum.

 

Describe your collection with three words?

Beautiful—Innovative—Exaggerated

 

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What techniques did you use:

I maximize colour, pattern and yarn insertion techniques with my machine, including spontaneous custom intarsia.

 

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Which machines did you use to create your collection?

Primarily domestic knitting machines in various gauges, along with a great deal of hand manipulation, as well as unique hand techniques and little gizmos I invent as I go along.

 

Which technique was the most difficult?

I do not recommend using hair-thin, lubricated nylon filament as an easy and predictable material for thousands of rows of knitting. Nope.

 

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Do you have a technical or conceptual approach to designing?

My design process is simultaneously very technical and very conceptual, they are not separate approaches. I draw a great deal from objects in life in order to find shapes and new construction ideas, and then really push the technical reality of the machine to achieve what I have imagined on paper.

 

Which garment was most difficult to make?

The voluminous top in aquafresh angora and red/black cashmere was the most difficult as it consumed approximately 16+ metres of full-bed fabric, with endless changes in pattern, yarn, and needle configuration. And that doesn’t include the shaped sleeves or oversized collar! Both the knitting and post-knit construction took four weeks. Naturally this was the most time-consuming piece, and it is as well my favourite.

 

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What technique is your favorite?

I’m a freak for maximal pattern, colour and texture. The more the better. But it cannot look crafty.

 

How long did you work on this project?

I spent a full dedicated ten months with this collection, including visual research, ideation and conceptualization, yarn selections and pattern development, prototyping, construction and presentation.

 

Is there something you regret not doing in your collection?

Always always always. Satisfaction is rare.

 

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What made you pursue your specialism?

Despite the overwhelmingly obvious signs throughout my life, it took me years to realize that I was keen on knitting…I always run to the knit sections first in retail stores, I react most strongly to knitwear in designer collections, I am by nature a crafty materials-oriented designer, I relax when I touch yarn and knittable materials, and I attempted to join local knit groups or programs for years. I began at St. Martins in the Menswear program and with every project continuously designed knit pieces, without having a clue of how to construct them. With much, much trepidation and secret panic, I switched over to the Knitwear course, and it has been the most fabulous move of my career thus far. I am a knitwear designer, there is absolutely no question. I can’t stop the ideas, they compete for room in my head at all times. Ask me to design a woven tailored jacket, and I can sit for two hours without any ideas and utterly devoid of inspiration. You ask me to design a new knit piece, and I ideate brilliantly for endless hours, I become hypnotized. Hypknitized!

 

Which designer would you like to work for in the future?

Wow, there are so many that would be brilliant collaborations for me…Iceberg, Willhelm, Cavalli, Comme, Armani, Berardi, Missoni, Galliano…such a diverse range!

 

Why did you choose Central Saint Martins?

I chose St. Martins because I knew it would house the most exciting and unpredictable group of young/future designers that I would ever encounter in my life. And it was exactly that.

 

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What did you think of the education?

To this day I am continually inspired by many of my brilliant fellow colleagues that I met throughout my years on the course…collectively they have pushed me so, so hard. I am so very lucky to have them in my life.

 

What advice would you give new students?

Live your life. Pursue joy. Smile and say hello to the beautiful stranger in the street who is too shy to do so first.

 

Which fellow students would you like to highlight?

Men’s print designers Holly Fox-Lee and Peter Bailey are brilliant brilliant brilliant.

Womenswear team William Hendry and Jacqueline Grubbs invent such stunningly beautiful techniques and innovative uses of materials, they are contemporary couturiers.

 

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Why do you want to be a designer?

I don’t think I know. I love ice-cream so much, yet I do not pursue a life career in concocting new flavours and developing new machinery for improved ice-cream. Why is that?

 

What was your childhood dream job?

Nez. That’s the French word for ‘nose,’ and also the title of the scent/aroma mix-masters that create fragrance blends for luxury labels around the world. I have a powerful and microcosmically detailed sense of smell, and I honestly think I could be one of the world’s top Nez. Sitting in a lab in France or Switzerland all day, smelling pretty smells? Yum.

 

With one word, what is your best quality?

Articulation (interpret as you will).

 

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What are your plans for the future?

I have been collaborating on several projects for individual knit showpieces for photographers in London, Greece and Vienna, and for performers in London and New York. I am also producing a small knit accessories range for some local retail presences. I launched my website http://www.kevinkramp.com. And some other secret projects! In the near future, I hope to be dedicated to one label, building collections and the brand.

 

Will you continue to MA?

Though an MA not out of the question, I am much more geared towards working, developing and producing collections, and brand building. My joy is in doing something that has a real, tangible place in the world. School tends to be a bit silly.

 

Will you be selling your BA collection?

All enquiries regarding specifically the collection pieces, as well as future stockists, can be made via www.kevinkramp.com

 

Were can we find more information on you?

 www.kevinkramp.com, also google my name for several blog entries with images and/or brief interviews.

 

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Contact info:

www.kevinkramp.com

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Comments
One Response to “Kevin Kramp”
  1. Zwischenzeitlich bin ich echt froh diese Website gefunden zu haben. Das wollte ich jetzt einfach mal loswerden 🙂 LG.

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