Interview: Kr3w Design Director Jack Toledo

Kr3w‘s design director Jack Toledo talks with PAUSE about their upcoming Fall/Winter 2014 Collection.


Hey Jack, firstly can you give a brief overview of your role at Kr3w and how long you’ve been there for? JT- I am the Apparel Design Director for KR3W and have been working here for just over 3 years. As the Apparel Design Director my job is to set the general direction on a seasonal basis as far as theme, color and pattern. We are a pretty small team of dudes here so everyone has input in all that goes down whether it’s Marketing, Sales or Product. We kind of run the brand in a democratic manner which is great.

How do you approach a collection? Do you have a specific method that you use or does it change per season etc? JT- I think the single most important part of starting a new collection is travel. You have to remove yourself from your comfort zone and immerse yourself into the culture in which you are creatively trying to capture. For instance if you were about to design Q1(Spring) you wouldn’t want to travel to Russia in the winter. Our calendar usually allows us to travel outside of the country a couple times a year in order to gain inspiration in terms of shopping the local area, people watching and enjoying a couple cold ones around town. From there we will come back to the states and I will begin putting together a plan in terms of seasonal theme, color direction and a line architecture(style plan).


How did the collaborations with Niagara and Eric Dressen for the Fall 14 collection come about and what inspired you to work with the two artists? JT- We have an awesome Graphic Art Director in house by the name of Mike Z. He actually stepped to Niagara for the FALL 14 season as he felt it was a perfect fit in terms of an artist with a cohesive aesthetic to what we were doing with the rest of the collection. The end product is something we were all stoked on and stand behind. The Dressen collab for HOLIDAY 14 kind of came natural. Our brand Director Brad Alband thought it was a no brainer because of Eric’s ties to the skate game and tattoo culture. Be on the look out for more to come on this one as we will be doing some cool shit in the states and hopefully out there as well to promote the Dressen collaboration.

It’s great to see you working with such a legendary name in skateboarding. How much input does the KR3W team have in the development stages of the collections? JT- Hell ya, we are pumped! That’s the great part of working for this brand. There are no egos here and we have been empowered by our executive to take the brand and make it something we all want to wear and stand behind. One of the benefits of being a privately held brand is that sure there is pressure to make commercially viable product but at the same time we are allowed to push it and take chances. Nobody wants to be the brand who gets into a massive accident from looking into the rear view mirror too often but it happens. Once a brand gets too big for it’s own shoes they start to chase and lose sight of what made them successful in the first place. Sorry for the rant hahaha.

Can you point out your favourite pieces from the Number 11 collection? JT- No doubt. Well first off, I love all of the pieces in the collection as they represent what we as a design collective are about… Premium, elevated product. Living in California only allows for a few solid months of jacket weather but one of my favorite pieces is the Nicholson Jacket. It’s the perfect cross between a heritage inspired silhouette and dark attitude. I also love the Selvedge NO.11 chino, 100% cotton, great fit and they are black. What’s not to like?


It’s clear to see that the brand is heading in a new direction, what can we expect from KR3W in 2015? JT- The angst is building YOU’VE BEEN WARNED! Hahaha. What you can expect from us is consistency. The goal in re-launching the brand for FALL 2014 was to set a sustainable tone/direction for the brand. I want you to be able to merchandise product in the FALL 2018 collection in with some stuff from SPRING 2015. It should all look like it came from the same place. With that said I will say that you also have to push yourselves and find subtle ways to sort of reinvent yourself from year to year. The last thing we want is to become complacent or too comfortable, we have a lot of work ahead of us but we are focused and motivated. 2015 will be a huge year for us as a team and we plan on being the brand people look to for innovative product that is unique and fresh.

Photos by: Amanda Fordyce

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