I knew my strolls around East London would have a meaning! Because wandering around the City is what makes you discover new cultures, new faces, new designers, new fashion. And this is how I met Kam, a 25 year old Londoner, who is the heart of Kam Creates, one of the funkiest brands I've found in a long time.
But let's cut to the chase. She is INSPIRING and so are her clothes. And because of that, I wanted to share with you a little bit of it. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from? How old are you?
Hi, I’m Kam. I’m from London. I’m 25 years young and I like making stuff.
When was “Kam Creates”, the brand, born? Did you always wanted to be a fashion designer or is it more of a hobby?
I’ve always been obsessed with making things. When I was a kid, my mum would work nights and come home in the morning with a Kinder egg for me. I loved constructing the free toys more than eating the chocolate and that’s probably when my obsession with making things started.
Growing up, I’d always cut up and customize my clothes and make accessories from old toys and weird stuff that I found.
During my teens, I got into street/skate/surf culture. I liked the weird and colourful T-shirt graphics that came with it and I remember thinking how sick it was to have your own artwork on a T-shirt cause that was like an instant way of getting your work seen by random people just by walking down the road. Since then, I’ve always wanted to print my own T-shirts.
Then I went on to study Surface design at London College of Communication and learnt about different materials and how to apply print to them, mainly using the screen-printing process. I loved working with every surface from paper to ceramics to textiles. I had no idea where my final major project would lead me to, as I was introduced to a whole load of other creative processes during uni and I couldn’t pick a direction to take it. One of my tutors pointed out how I was always wearing my own handmade jewellery, so why not make a collection? It made sense, so then it happened.
After graduating, a lot of people would come up to me and ask where I got my earrings or whatever from and as it became more persistent it started to play on my mind that this could go somewhere. One day, a friend of mine, Kelley, mentioned she wanted to do a market stall but didn’t have enough work to fill one out alone. So we teamed up and made it happen! The place was Fashion Market in Brick Lane and that’s how it all started.
Where do you get your inspirations for your designs?
I love cartoons, illustrations, music/song lyrics, movies/quotes, travel, earth, space, underwater, the spiritual world, psychedelic, humans, animals, cities, nature, big things, small things, colour, shape and life. My inspiration comes from a mash up of all these things.
Which designers or fashion companies do you like and why?
Right now, I like Daniel Palillo. He is a Finnish designer who makes some funny stuff. I like things that make me laugh or smile. The Japanese are really fun for things like that. They are great at rocking DIY fashion and being their own designers. Mainly street brands like Stussy and Bape influenced me when I was younger. I still like them now. I like the earlier stuff from KTZ, I like how they use big applique graphics on their clothing. It’s quite funny that for someone who makes fashion pieces, I don’t actually know too much about fashion designers. Sometimes I flick through fashion magazines and things catch my eye, usually colourful costume style pieces but I don’t really keep up with trend. I like anything that is raw and creative and it doesn’t really matter what brand it is or who made it. If it’s dope then it’s dope.
Which item is your favourite this season?
I like the clutch bags because it’s the first item I made whilst learning how to properly use my sewing machine, which I’ve had for years and never touched. It feels like progression. They are also fun and colourful and can be two items in one if you remove the badges.
In your opinion, what works best to make a brand like yours more successful?
Success is different to everybody. I look up to brands that keep it real. Not only just brands, but whatever your art is in life. Be yourself, don’t force anything, let your art come naturally, be original and don’t follow trends.
Do what you love to do, travel, learn new things, and meet new people. For me success comes by taking my art with me and spreading it wherever I go, on the look out for spots to sell in different countries. If I can keep doing that and live comfortably off that money then I think I’m doing it right.
You promote your brand through Fashion Markets in town. Have you ever wondered about having your own store? Or would you like to keep it online?
I should improve my internet presence, I suppose. But I am a bit of an old fashioned lady and have a love hate relationship with the internet. I really love the human interaction I get from customers so I didn’t really bother with working on my online shop. But I realised that I’ve got to move with the current times if I want to progress sales so I gave in and currently sell through Etsy. I also try to promote my brand through social media like Instagram and Facebook.
Having a shop, on the other hand, has always been a dream of mine. I’d love that, a shop of my stuff in all the cities I love.
What’s next? What are your future plans?
That’s a hard question because sometimes I don’t even know what I’m doing tomorrow!
I’ve been teaching myself a few different things via YouTube video’s including pattern making, sewing and playing piano. I’ve started to get back into photography again after finding my mums old photo albums and getting an inspirational high off of her nostalgic shots. I really miss screen-printing and want to get involved with that again too.
I’ve started messing about with filming my friends and editing short video’s. I’m practising my drawing skills and want to do some canvas paintings again. I’m making some felt doll characters at the moment just because its funny and I’ve always wanted to make something similar after watching Sesame Street when I was younger. I want to experience living and working in a different country and also learning another language.
There is so much on the list and I still feel like I have a lot to learn in life. I’m not sure what it is that I am set out to do yet but for now, I’m just enjoying releasing my creative energy through different outlets.