I don’t want to under-sell this; Dusseldorf in February is BRISK!
The historic Rhine River runs black alongside the bare trees which line its shores and wind whips through the diligently ordered German streets. As a Melbourne native I’m no stranger to cold weather but the capitol of German fashion was testing my resolve.
I was in town searching for new, exciting brands to bring back to the store alongside favourites like Rundholz but the constant drizzle and single-digit temperature was sapping my enthusiasm. It was in this state, feet raw from running to and from showrooms, that the duo behind Black by K&M gave me their warmest welcome.
Klaes and Myra live and breath fashion. The husband-and-wife duo met while working in industry as agents and importers before, in Klaes’ recollection, “a kiss started it all” and they started their design journey together. Working out of their home studio where they have raised their three daughters this effervescent couple have merged a blissful minimalism with an unconventional soul.
We chatted while I looked through the sprawling racks of their current collection and we shared stories of our respective creative processes. Each collection often starts with the duo working separately. Klaes is the jetsetter. Traveling around Europe to trade fares and fabric houses with frequent collaborator; Photographer Rene Veldhuis who treats the studio “like a second home” Myra has laughed in the past. While Klaes is out collecting the blocks with which to build the collection Myra is analysing the wardrobe for gaps and developing silhouettes.
The results speak for themselves.
Each collection that results is a marriage of avant-garde minimalism realised in luxurious natural fibres. The photos taken by Rene are remixed and reworked into fabulous prints which have a singularly brutalistic vibe, however once printed onto a supple jersey the unique sense of humour of the brand shines through: “Without humour it would be dull”
After our meeting those shiver inducing streets seemed a lot more tolerable. The warmth, humour and hospitality I was shown by Klaes, Myra and their team has stuck with me. I’m so excited to bring in K&M to our store offerings. I hope that their vision of monochromatic glamour, minimalist experimentation and bold authenticity will resonate with you the same way it has with me.
Black by K&M is available in store and online now.