Christian Kimber is reimagining modern Australian men's style. His new collection Point Addis celebrates the colors, textures, and climate of the iconic landscape near Anglesea on the Surf Coast region of Victoria, Australia. It is obvious that Kimber has matured as a designer and the collection is designed with confidence, paying homage to nature, and the clarity that comes with the life well-lived. In an exclusive interview with SARTOSIM, Mr. Kimber discusses the brand, the business, and his highly personal approach to menswear.
What brought you to Australia in the first place and why did you decide to set up your brand here?
Firstly my wife is Australian so we migrated from London to Melbourne together, but we quickly realized it was the perfect place to start a menswear business due to a lack of established menswear design in Australia. Our vision is to redefine the concept of modern Australian style and continue to create clothing based on our unique lifestyle and climate here.
Tell us about the concept behind your latest collection, it seems to be more mature both visually as well as in terms of fabrics and fit?
Thank you, I certainly feel as though I have truly found my own voice, and feel privileged to be able to contribute to the design dialogue in this way. Evidence of this is the fact that people will come into the store these days and ask about something they've seen on someone else in the street, and know its Christian Kimber from the design, the fabric, and the quality.
My focus is on creating breathable, durable, and comfortable clothing for Australian men, and my latest collection celebrates the colors, textures, and climate of our iconic landscape, paying homage to the purity of nature and the clarity that comes with being amongst it.
We use a lot of really special production processes and materials. The process of "garment-dyeing" is iconic and distinctive in our clothing. We work with our color laboratory using high-quality white or raw un-colored Italian fabric which is washed and dyed as a final manufacturing step. This makes our clothing feel worn-in and softer and lasts better through the wash. We are also creating our own fabrics and unique knitwear this season, with some incredibly iconic designs.
Your shoe designs always have interesting details, not available elsewhere. What is the most important aspect when creating and making a pair of shoes?
When it comes to footwear, my focus is on comfort more than anything else and I think that's what differentiates the brand. We use the materials that will work best for longer wear time, with or without socks. This means more thoughtful lasts, leather lining, and more breathable designs.
You started with a highly personal set of pocket square designs, what does the Christian Kimber business offering look like today?
Today, it's about the total look, from shoes and socks to knitwear, to overcoats, jackets, we take you from the weekday to the weekend and can also make items to order. We are offering a perennial wardrobe of quality clothing, designed to outlast the owner.
Browsing your photos online, you are often seen in different shades of green and blue. What does color mean to you?
I liked washed colors, so I wear a lot of washed greens, blues, browns, off white and charcoal. I prefer calm and subdued yet natural tones, so you won't find me in blacks, or reds very often. It's just a palette I've found over the years works well with my complexion, isn't too much when worn tone on tone, and sits well when mixed together.
Sneakers or shoes (i.e. loafers, desert boots, etc.), if you had to choose one pair for the rest of your life?
It really does depend on the climate, but if I had to choose, it would be something in between – the loafer. I love a relaxed look and am all about comfort.