[UJ X Chirs Modoo Interview]
The following interview with Chris Modoo (Co-founder of Kit Blake) has been conducted by Uncle Jude's.
以下為Uncle Jude's 與 Chris Modoo (Kit Blake 創辦人) 線上專訪。
Q. UJ: Thank you for taking some time out for this interview with UJ, I know you have spent the best part of 20 years in the London west end tailoring scene, can you briefly take us through your journey?
A. Chris: I started my menswear career in Selfridges and worked on the shopfloor before joining Thomas Pink shirtmaker.
I then worked around the West End of London in various roles. My last being as senior creative at Chester Barrie in Savile Row. I left Chester Barrie in 2017 and started Kit Blake in 2018. Chester Barrie is no longer trading.
我一開始踏入男裝產業的時候是在 Selfridges 百貨公司擔任專櫃的銷售員，然後加入了Thomas Pink 襯衫品牌，接下來在倫敦西區任職了許多不同的角色.
我的最後一份工作是在薩佛街的 Chester Barrie 擔任創意總監，我在2017年離開，並於隔年的2018創立了Kit Blake。
Q. UJ: How did Kit Blake come about and who is he?
你是如何創立Kit Blake 這個品牌的？ 然後這個名字又是誰呢？
A. Chris: I always felt the men’s trouser market was under served, particularly in the UK High Street, with little to choose between jeans, bad chinos or suit trousers. It was a conversation with my friend and now business partner, Richard Wheat, that led to the idea of a brand selling proper trousers. The name “Kit Blake” was an old nickname of mine that I used when I was a salesman on Savile Row. I never expected it to be a brand.
我總是覺得男裝在褲子這個部分的市場供不應求，尤其在英國的普遍流行市場上的牛仔褲、劣質的卡其褲和西裝褲之間幾乎沒有什麼好的選擇，這是我與我的朋友，同時現在的事業夥伴 Richard Wheat 曾經討論過的問題，於是我們想要創立一個品牌，專賣像樣的褲子。
Kit Blake 這個名字是我以前在薩佛街上班時的暱稱, 從來沒料到它會成為一個品牌。
Q. UJ: Apparently, the Aleksander trousers are the signature product of Kit Blake, what is the concept behind designing fairly smart, elegant high-waisted trousers without a matching jacket?
A. Chris: When we put the collection together, we designed a range of styles including flat-fronted, single pleat but it is the four-pleat Aleksandar that had the most attention. We noted how our younger customers would style the informally with sneakers and knitted tops. This is a really elegant yet casual way of dressing. Our friends at The Rake Magazine supported us in a first season by buying a range of the “Aleksandar” in flannels and they sold well. We offer a range of styles but the four-pleat is our most popular. They are just so comfortable and versatile.
我們在 The Rake 雜誌的朋友在我們第一季時購買了一系列的法蘭絨 Aleksandar，並且賣的相當好，雖然我們提供許多褲型，但終究是雙摺的款式最熱門，因為穿起來既舒適又好搭配。
Q. UJ: As we know menswear is moving towards the casual side of the sector, would you say the suit is dying?
A. Chris: No. I would say The Suit is Dead. I am not anti-tailoring but the matching lounge suit is now only really appropriate for some very specific occasions where once it was our native dress. I hope we can continue to dress with elegance and consideration in the post-suit world.
Q. UJ: I heard that you are an anti-denim person, can you tell us why you are not quite keen on denim?
A. Chris: Like a lot of middle-aged men, I relied too much on denim in my casual wardrobe. I do own a pair of jeans and they are useful for the rare occasions I do manual labour or when I know I could get dirty as they are easy to wash. But for social occasions I think proper trousers are more flattering. Swapping your jeans for a pair of grey flannels is an easy wardrobe upgrade.
對於Kit Blake 將來的發展你有什麼看法？
A. Chirs: We are working to make our online platforms more engaging and really want to connect with good menswear retailers like Uncle Judes!
Q. UJ: As a consumer what can we expect to see from you?
A. Chris: We are focusing on trousers (we originally offered coats, blazers and vests too) and are hoping to add more cotton options into the range. We also want to develop the “sports comfort” waistband that we have trialled this season.
But we really like to listen to our customers and hear their suggestions too. I think one of the advantages of buying from a small brand like Kit Blake is that you can contact us quite easily via social media. We are happy to advise and suggest and love to hear your suggestions.
我們同時想要開發這季測試的 “Sports Comfort” 褲型，也想聽聽看我們客人的想法，以及給予的建議，我覺得跟Kit Blake 這樣的小型企業購物一部分的好處就是，你可以很容易的在社群媒體平台上跟我們聯絡，我們很樂意給予建議和幫忙，同時聆聽你的看法。
Q. UJ: Is there anything you would like to share with the Taiwanese fans through the UJ platform?
A. Chris: Firstly…a big Thank you for all your support. We really enjoy seeing how you style our trousers and it is really inspiring. We always share your images as our European/American customer base always enjoys to see how you mix up our brand in your unique informal yet elegant way.