Kirk Originals are expanding. With a New store now open on Conduit Street, in Central London and a new season on the way, the brains behind the the brand, Jason and Karen Kirk took some time out to answer some questions about the past, present and future…..
What first lead you to creating Kirk Originals?
My (Jason’s) grandfather was an optical manufacture. He was ambitious and changed the industry in the 1920s and 30s. My Dad was an optician too and, although I did not find the profession interesting, I stumbled across a box of my grandfather’s beautiful frames from the 50s and 60s – lovely up-swept blues and greens. Truly inspiring. Karen and I set about creating collections that reflected Grandpa Sidney’s principles of innovation and creativity.
The glasses is always on and off per season, what inspirations helps you make Kirk Originals stand out?
By designing what we feel and not following dictated trends we can create a unique look each season. Our work often sits alongside fashion, keeping it relevant but somehow distant from the mainstream. We never bring anything to the market unless it has something new to offer. For example we work with materials that we design especially for our own collections and our latest collection Kinetic incorporates moving images on the temples that change as you move your head.
The design of your new store is very unique, how did you come up with the concept?
We worked with an amazing company called Campaign Design. We wanted to move away from all the pre-conceived ideas of what ‘an optician’ should look like. The store needs to compete with the best fashion stores, not just opticians. Our idea was to bring the glasses to life, to humanise them and thus allow the wearer to have a relationship, a friendship with their glasses. The whole store feels alive and we hope that people enjoy the whole experience of choosing glasses when they visit.
With your first store opening in central London, do you plan to extent the business this year?
We hope to open at least one more store in 2011.
Out of the current collection, do you have a personal favourite?
Jason: I love the Chip frame in white with the skull that disappears in flames. It is nicely tongue in cheek.
Karen: I like the Java in burgundy and I love the spectrum image on the temple. It is so alive.
As many labels like to collaborate with the famous and of brands, is there anyone you would want to collaborate with?
We like the idea of working with people who are not directly related to fashion and can bring a truly independent eye to the subject. We are open-minded…who would you like us to work with?
The Internet has changed Fashion for the better, do you think it is important to check out bloggers sites, on-line Magazines and social sites?
It is imperative to listen to what people are saying. The Internet is immediate and blogging is hugely influential. The wealth of good sites creates an ever-changing atmosphere of discovery with blogs competing to find the latest and greatest. The world is changing very quickly.
What is the most exciting aspect of being apart of Kirk Originals?
Every day feels like a new beginning. We are learning, discovering, experiencing, creating. There is so much possibility out there………..