Travelling fashion company

May 31, 2013 , by Bibek Bhandari, Leave your thoughts
Travelling fashion company » My Dreams Mag
Kore Kamino's designs are inspired from the designer duo's travel experience. While their past collections have stretched from Europe to Africa and South America, their upcoming Autumn/Winter designs have been influenced from Nepal.

Kore Kamino’s latest fashion accessory is more than just a fad – there’s a story behind it.

The golden lamb leather clutch patterned with blue oval-shaped print in the fashion label’s Autumn/Winter collection embodies the eyes of a Western girl and the Living Goddess Kumari, who had befriended each other and lost contact – the eyes symbolising the search.

Another item from their collection, a knee-length black dress dotted with red and white, crafted with hand-woven cotton, on the other hand is a modern-day Western rendition of the traditional attire of the Newari women.

The fashion label’s upcoming collection, which is not fully disclosed now, also embodies iconographies, embroideries and also bits and pieces of painting on its garments, which has been a collaborative effort with local artists.

A “travelling fashion company,” as the creators call it, Kore Kamino rests on the idea of crafting their designs cultivated from their travel experiences.  Thus the French-Spanish duo, Anna Stervinou and Kike Gutierrez, aptly christened their company Kore Kamino, a Spanish word for roadrunner or traveller.

“Nepal’s story is east meets west,” explains Stervinou of her musings behind their latest collection as she sits in a courtyard in Patan overlooking a traditional Newari house. “A lot of our designs are drawing on the Newari culture. But we’re trying to ad a bit of magic and mystery to it.”

Though they now work together in fashion, the couple comes from different background. Stervinou, a French-native, was working in graphic designing in London and New York and Kike, who comes from Spain, was busy with his advertising career and also breaking the Guinness record for cleaning dishes before they met in Vietnam.

“It was,” Stervonou says of how their brand conceived, “mixing my interest in fashion and our common interest for travelling and telling interesting stories. So we wanted to mix that.”

Gutierrez says that they not only liked the idea but even more the message and philosophy behind it.

“It came across as a new way of selling fashion,” he says of their collection, which so far represents stories from Brittany to Bangkok, Brazil, Hanoi, Ghana and Nepal.

Their Brittany collection tells the story of Bretons who crossed the Channel to sell onions from France to England. Thus their collection is imprinted with Brittany-inspired motifs – onions have been stylised into graphic circles along with patterns representing the sea waves and also bicycles.

In Bangkok, the designers say they were intrigued by the stories of Ladyboys in the city, naming their collection City of Angels.

“They are a vibrant part of the society and a huge part of the population,” Sternivou says about incorporating the story in their design. 

For this, the duo collaborated with local artists who after many interviews illustrated the personality of the Ladyboys in Kore Kamino apparels.

Though countries and cultures shape their work, and according to Sternivou, “it’s an organic process,” she adds that there is paramount research too.

“Then I totally believe in faith and how things are meant to be,” she laughs.

Gutierrez says though travelling and storytelling is an enjoyable part of their job, the “complexity and frivolity of the fashion industry” has become a challenge. For the duo, their brand represents more than just fashion.

“Fashion is only a part of Kore Kamino,” he says reiterating that they want to associate their products with stories from each country, their customs. 

Sternovou says this bring a “personal attachment” which makes Kore Kamino and its clothing not just a piece of garment.

“When you know where your clothes come from, the story behind it and what it means, it adds a new layer to your wardrobe and the streets,” she says.

Also, the designers point that through Kore Kamino, by providing a sense of ownership, they’re also trying to fight mass consumerism.”

“With fashion you tend to consume so much, there’s a lot of use and throw,” Sternivou says. “So this was a reaction to change that.”

Since it’s inception in 2005, the travelling fashion company has traversed the geographic and cultural boundaries and fused them with fashion. Their collection is now sold through stockists in London and Paris and globally through online retailing.

As Kore Kamino is giving final touches before debuting their Nepal collection this autumn, the duo says they’ve already started their Berlin project. In the future they plan to focus their designs on Cuba and Indonesia, where Sternivou and Gutierrez is currently based.

“We hope that we can show fashion in a different way,” Sternivou says. “It’s a way of expressing yourself and not just a piece of clothing.”

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