Published on October 20th, 2015 | by Jerry Doby0
Fashion from the eyes of a King: Christopher “King The Brand” King
What would one expect from one immersed from birth in the aura of achievers, leaders and innovators?! You’d expect them to be charismatic, innovative and able to bring a new light to a dull and boring room. Chris “King The Brand” King is just that personality within the fashion world.
Grandson of the late great B B King, Chris King is from solid stock that has the intestinal fortitude to do it their way and make us see the light. A much in demand designer / stylist and Red Carpet Host, King and his brand are keeping the fires lit in the castle…
Here are some highlights of our conversation as Chris lets us in and shares intimated details of his life and experiences with his family and standing strong for his vision…KING The Brand.
From the outside looking in, who is Chris King?
From the Outside in Christopher King is “KING”, Fashion Mogul and Stylist, Designer of Custom Bow Ties and all around Distinguished Gentlemen. Supporter of Nonprofits that benefit children and underprivileged youth and battered women. “KING” is an advocate for economic growth and the power in helping others achieve their goals in the Fashion Business. He’s a powerful consultant / assistant in fashion related business and support systems ( MUA, Photographers, Hairstylist, etc.. growing their individual brands and business popularity in their industry. Also, KING hosts many Fashion Weeks and Fashion events and runway shows and is known for his very stylish custom blazer and stage presence with a comedic relief. He is bound to grab your audience’s attention and keep them entertained throughout the night. Besides his dapper appeal, “KING” is a polished gentleman..
You are part of an undeniable music legacy because of your late Grandfather B. B. King, what’s in the works by way of celebration and memorializing him and his music?
In the works for honoring my grandfather is a true question. I felt something about this question as I have my career to think about and I am a grandchild, now on the other hand my aunt and uncles are planning a B B King Tribute concert during his birthday weekend in Memphis and also a Homecoming in Indianola surrounded a tribute at the Burial Site and Museum in Mississippi. On a good note, we as a community honor him by supporting his music, restaurant & club chain ( B B King Blues Clubs) and merchandise as it generates royalties for his estate to keep his legacy living and well. Me myself will keep working and honoring by showing great work ethic and holding his name high as he would have wanted me to, just imagine how many of his family he laid to rest and had to go back to work. He would not want me to mourn long as he lived a wonderful life and enjoyed all of it and witnessed 5 generations of his name born with my son Riley B. King V, which he named personally while we were in the hospital deciding on his name. Papa, new what he wanted how he wanted and left it how he wanted to leave it. I’m not going to participate in the fighting and disputes of his estate simply because he blessed me with something more important than money. He gave me his name “KING”. I AM KING THE BRAND aka “KING”
You have a very interesting introduction as a stylist/fashion designer, beginning as an artist manager and helping create the “looks” for some of today’s top names. How does DIFFERENT fashion play into DIFFERENT situations?
Fashion plays a major role in all aspects no matter the situation, it boils down to if you care or not. Self respect about one’s appearance and care about how people view you, which is not what they think of you, they are different things. We are born male or female, we become men and women by age, but to be a Gentlemen and a Lady is a choice. We as a culture never know what can happen and who we could bump into at any given point or what door will open. We should want to be prepared for our environment and be self educated for our culture and demographic. We as a generation should have event attire, business attire, and relaxed attire and knowing when to wear it is a job. Walk through wal-mart at 12pm and I guarantee you will see a person in their PJ’s and a shower cap on their head but no hairdo, they will wear it as a cap and keep it moving, and we as a culture wonder why people don’t take America seriously. This is not a race issue, it’s just an issue as a whole. We all have a fashion sense some of us are good some are bad and others are worse is all.
Where do you get your inspiration today?
Today I find my inspiration from my hunger and my kids. The military instilled so much drive and focus, with a mountain of discipline to get what I want. It will happen at some point one way or the other, as long as my goals are realistic with my current situation and I keep God first. I have accomplished all that I have asked myself to thus far. Dj, Promoter, Manager, and now Talent, with consistent employment in hosting and appearances,now embarking on the big screen and TV. My first movie will be a speaking role in “Room 236”, an independent film shot in Orlando, FL and I have a lot of options for movie scripts currently with with some great directors.
Who were some of your major influences in the beginning of your dream?
My major influences where Fonsworth Bently, Andre 3000, B B King, Bobby Blue Bland, Anita Baker, and my brother Riley B. King III. I would spend my summers with him growing up if I wasn’t on the road with my grandfather, and he was always clean from head to toe with Polo and fresh pair of Air Max. He broke it down with tucking in my shirt with shorts and wearing clothes that fit and have a crease in my jeans back when that was the style. We called it “Starchy Archie” in Texas and “Sta-Flo” was the way to go when you wanted your jeans to stand up on their own from being pressed. He was my biggest direct influence next to my grandfather as me and my father did not have a relationship until recent years, so I pretty much raised myself as me and my mother had a very broken relationship until I was about 23 due to my rebellious attitude as a youth. Now me and my mother have the best relationship as we had one of those heart to hearts and she allowed me to vent and get a lot off my chest within my feelings. So childhood was rough, growing up with a split family and no constant male role model in the house, I had to learn from experiences in the streets at a very early age.
Speaking of inspiration, you hold educational sessions surrounding manners and etiquette for young men and women…do you consider attitude and personal presentation as important parts of the overall package?
I do, as it requires a full package and that includes manners, etiquette, your daily attitude and personal presentation. Sometimes, some people say I am overdressed, and I kindly explain to them “Once you know “KING” then you will understand, as everyone’s views are not the same.” I believe in feeling good and if I look good then I feel good, and once I feel good I perform good. My clothing is my daily armor and uniform so it holds me down, lol. Educating our youth is the primary target for me and has developed into the curriculum titled “The Gentlemen’s Course”, which allows youth both male and female, to learn the basics of being a gentleman and a lady.
What does fashion mean to you?
Fashion to me is an individual understanding, but it exists in all of us, it means to have awareness to your attire and attitude. Fashion sense is first confidence, make the clothes look good on you, not the clothes make you look good. That element we see a lot of in our industry. I do believe that more individuals that can afford a stylist and have no clue on how to dress, should hire a certified stylist to assist them in their attire for events and daily wear.
The KING Collection, what will it encompass and when will we feel that wave hit us?
The KING Collection currently features, Exotic Wooden Bowties and Cuban Cigars, and currently under development, are Wooden Lapel Flowers and an exotic line of Pocket Squares to match the centerpieces of our bowties. I have been developing a suit line as well and we can look to see that around Jan 2016.
What are some of your accomplishments with your apparel?
Accomplishements, wow man just having my own brand is my greatest, but we have had requests from celebs like Pierre Edwards and Benny Demus (Akons DJ) wanting to endorse the line. Also they can check out the growing developments with the Bowties at www.completbowties.com.
What is the best perk of being a designer?
Freedom to wear what I want and make what I want to wear, flex the creative bug in my mind and be able to bring it life. Then the expression when people compliment you on and ask where did you get that from and then you reply with “It’s mine, I made it.”, is just the most amazing feeling.
How was it teaming up with a brand like Complete Bowties?
Complete Bowties relationship was honestly a true blessing as they reached out to me via Instagram and it has been a great relationship and growth since. I truly support their product as they support my brand and future endeavors with the growth of the King Collection. They are a very professional group of gentlemen and produce a Royalty worthy product fit for the “KING”
Who are some of your favorite apparel/accessory designers?
My Favorite is Armani, Cole Haan. Those two brands get a lot of my money lol, I can’t lie. Shoes have to be comfortable, and my dress shirts have to hug me I hate baggy clothing, it looks tacky.
What do you wish people would understand about branding yourself in the fashion industry?
They really have to lose the mindset that everyone is their customer, because we are not. True demographic research for your perfect customer base will make marketing efforts a lot easier for your product and brand. Once you know your market, you can make more money and advertise less as they will look for you and you will not have to look for them.
What one piece of advice would you give to someone wanting to start an apparel line?
If you can’t draw, they better find someone that can draw and get a great legal team to assure you protection of your product and ideas. That’s the beginning and the end, as once you produce it, if it’s not protected you just worked for nothing and they will, trust they will take your idea and make a meal ticket from it and sell it right to you.
What trends do you see being big next season?
The 1920 Appeal is returning and men are trending to remove the baggy suits and come with a more bold look and patterns are mixing. No fear factor in Fashion and it’s becoming very edgy with the combinations
Last but not least, HYPE wants to know…What’s your CRAZIEST “Where they do that at?!” moment…
Awh Man, I would honestly have to say how my supervisor at my old job when I worked, told me to not dress so fly and to tone it down because the higher executives don’t dress as good as you and it’s intimidating. I mean like really, wait a minute you, a fellow black male are going to tell me another fellow black man not to dress so good, and wear slacks and a plain dress shirt. So, no blazers, no lapel flower, no pocket square, you might as well tell me not to come to work because whoever the hell shows up is not gonna be “KING”, it will be an imposter. This is not a game, it’s real, tighten up was my response, Where they do that at?
Twitter – @thekingthebrand