KSLAM Clothing, "custom reworked vintage that is as unique as the women wearing it." Designer, Casey Lamb talks about the evolution of KSLAM, her design process and where she wants to take her business.
Q: Can you talk about your background and how you got started with designing?
A: KSLAM started because I was tired of saying I was going to do something, and not doing it. I have always had a ‘unique’ approach to fashion and how I dress (ask anyone I went to high school with). I talked about going to design school, but it didn’t seem plausible, so I never thought twice about it. I have never been one to care what people think, so I finally decided, that by going for it, I wouldn’t be losing anything. The first thing I ever put out was a graphic tee, with this print I created. I taught myself how to silk screen, ordered some t-shirts online, made a big cartel, and started selling. At first, it was a way to showcase my art. I figured that people would be more inclined to purchase a t-shirt, than a print, so that’s what I did. For a while, I was just releasing different graphic tees, that I printed my work on. That art work then shifted towards denim. I made a stencil, and hand painted my first pair of jeans, with no intention of ever selling them, but at the time they kind of blew up. People were messaging me, so a few months later, I put out my first “Cat Call” denim collection. I released limited quantities, and they sold out in a day. I have been doing denim ever since, and now just have a stronger focus on original designs and sewing.
Q: Did you go to school for fashion?
A: No! I think I took one class in high school, but other than that I’m self-taught baby!
Q: How did the name KSLAM Clothing evolve?
A: The name KSLAM is just my full name squished together to make one word! People always ask how I thought of it, but that’s it! I was being called it as a nickname and thought it was catchy, so I just rolled with it.
Q: Where do you source all your materials?
A: I source all my materials from different thrift and consignment stores. I am really picky about the denim I buy, because I only like certain styles/brands, so it tends to be a lot of work, but it is totally worth it. I love being able to feel and find fabrics that you wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else.
Q: Do you have any exciting projects you are currently working on?
A: I am always working on new designs and clothing, because I constantly have new ideas. In terms of projects, I think right now I am just trying to improve at sewing and design along with branching out from the denim world. I am working on perfecting my pieces, and vision.
Q: Who are some of the designers you look up to/get inspired by?
A: Right now, I love Namilia, this brand based out of Berlin/New York. Their work is political, controversial, and is something I have never seen before. My inspiration doesn’t come from designers, as much as it does era’s & the things around me. I love vintage, especially the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, so my inspiration usually comes from there.
Q: What has been your most popular product to sell?
A: My most popular product has been the reworked denim bralette. It was something a lot of people, had not seen before. It was also one of my first sewn pieces, which is why I think people really dig it.
Q: How did the Lace up collection emerge? What are the themes behind this collection?
A: The Laced up collection started because I wanted to be more hands on with the design process, instead of just distressing the jeans. I had seen a few pairs of jeans that were laced along the side and front, and decided to take it a step further by creating ones that had them separated across the leg, and along the ass.
Q: You also have a unisex section; do you see yourself expanding on this collection considering that menswear styles for women are so in right now?
A: Yes! I consider myself androgynous, and am trying to work on ways to have KSLAM incorporated into everyone’s individual style. There is definitely more to come!
Q: What is your design process?
A: My design process is very unconventional. I don’t draw anything before I make it, I don’t make patterns… I don’t really do anything that a typical seamstress or designer would. I just get an idea, start creating it, by pinning pieces together, until I like how it looks, and then sew it. There’s always trial and error, I have made so many things that I have never released, but it is the best way to keep the creative process going!
Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
A: I never know how to answer this question! Ideally, KSLAM would be established in the fashion industry, showing at New York Fashion Week, and worn by celebrities, but right now I am just focused on exposure and getting my brand recognized. I really want to stay using ethical and reworked materials, while KSLAM grows. The fashion industry has a huge negative impact on the environment, particularly with waste, so it is important to me that my pieces stay one of a kind and at low quantity.
Q: Do you have anything you want your viewers to know about you?
A: If I want my viewers to know anything, I think it is that they don’t have to think realistic. Nothing about starting a clothing line is realistic, but I think millennials, as much as we dream, still choose to settle on something that isn’t scary. I see so many people not following what they love, because they don’t think it is possible to succeed doing so. If you put everything you have into something you love, you can’t fail. Even I still barely know what I’m doing, but I believe in KSLAM, and knowing it could be insanely successful is what motivates me. It takes hard work - I know it’s cliché – but it’s true!