How 2 Young Designers Got Kendall & Kylie To Wear Their Stuff
If you’re a young designer, one of your biggest dreams is probably to dress your favorite celeb. Or maybe not your favorite celeb, but any celeb. Because if someone with a shitload of eyes on them wears your designs, you’re bound to get some serious exposure.
So how did Neta, 18, and Elad, 21, the siblings behind Urban Sophistication, get the Kardashians and Jenners to wear their designs after only being in business for a year and a half? Well, putting Kris Jenner on a T-shirt didn’t hurt, and neither did Instagram DMs.
You were born in Atlanta, but moved to Israel as kids, so how often do you guys travel to New York?
Elad: I think when we were younger we would come in the summers and now for the last year we have been there for a couple of months for work, and she started at university now.
Neta: I studied at FIT.
Elad: Fashion week was the last time we were there.
So how has spending time between Israel and New York influenced you guys’ designs?
I think it’s really inspired by American pop culture. Even when we are in Israel and texting each other for inspiration, it’s mostly from Instagram. So it doesn’t really matter where we are.
So how did you guys start your brand?
We started it a year and a half ago. We always talked about a venture with our ideas [about pop culture] and we started with some more traditional art and canvases. We didn’t think about it as a clothing brand when we started, and then we started thinking, “How can we get more people to see it and reach out to more people?”
We thought about Instagram as the biggest museum for modern art and the most special thing about it is you present next to Miley Cyrus and Lena Dunham and everyone are like equal in that sense. Then we came up with the idea of t-shirts as our canvas, as people wear it and post it and then more and more people see it.
So you said you studied at FIT, how did you guys begin to execute the T-shirts? How did you start to manufacture them?
We searched a lot online, like where shall we do it? And we were doing it with a factory in New York, so basically they handle the order.
At the very beginning we started back at home, but it was much harder to tackle it like that because most of our clients/customers are in New York, LA, Australia, the UK, so not much of Israel.
Some really impressive celebrities have worn your items even though you guys have only been around for a year and a half. Do you think Instagram is one of the reasons that the word got out about your designs so quickly?
It’s the main reason.
We thought that our biggest challenge is to get to these people to wear our stuff, to get celebrity engagement, and the funny thing is that we met Jonathan Cheban on the plane back to Israel and we gave him the Kris shirt.
But after that, it was just Instagram. We DM’d one of Kylie’s friends and he was with Kylie at the time and he opened the message, you wont believe how accessible they actually are. They probably saw it on Jonathan because it got a lot of press when he wore it, and she didn’t know where to get the t-shirt from, and then she realized it’s from us.
So we sent them t-shirts and then Kylie posted it on Instagram. But yeah, like every celebrity endorsement we have, even with Bella and Gigi and Lena Dunham we tagged her on Instagram and we also tagged her on one of our photos and she bought a lot of stuff.
Yeah for us, when they wear it, it completes the stories that we are trying to tell.
Yeah it’s really cool, it’s almost like they can make fun of themselves with you guys.
Yeah, even when Bella and Gigi wore the Bella tour t-shirt on Instagram, like when the media was writing about it, they were like, “so what is that tour about?” As if they were on an actual tour. It’s all about this conversation that we are trying to start to make people think.
Whatever it is, whether it’s a good or a bad thing, for example Kris Jenner. If we put Kris Jenner on merchandise as the rock star of our generation, the representative of such a huge phenomenon, we’re not saying that it’s a good or a bad thing, but we are putting it out there letting people think for themselves.
Yeah totally, you’re starting a conversation. On your website you mention Vetements, which is kind of doing a similar ironic fashion thing. Why do you think that ironic fashion is so big right now, especially in America?
I say it started with the vintage trend, with all the band T-shirts, and then what people do today, even Vetements, they take rock band style T-shirts from their first collection and I think what people are trying to do is take these T-shirts of the vintage and recreate that today, but with something that we can relate to of the new generation or whatever you want to call that. It’s about creating this journey, something from pop to art. Like when we did the Vetements hoodie, when Vetements took the DHL logo, that is something that is very from pop culture and they made art out of it, but then that piece of art, that t-shirt, became again something that is so in pop culture. So with our hoodie, it is something we just wanted to, you know, complete and mention that journey.
So do you guys had a collection for fashion week in the fall, do you guys plan on releasing in tune with the fashion week schedules, or as you go?
I think it’s more as we go.
One of the most special things about our brand is the t-shirt section. We design new t-shirts every week. We have a few t-shirts every week about whats going on in pop culture after the VMAs or the elections we already have a t-shirt after it happens, so that’s a main specialty. And there’s also a collection that comes after we research something specifically about pop culture that we want to create a story about, so that’s something with the collection. But we will definitely come back next September and we are having a collection that is coming out in January that we are working on now which is pretty cool.