Like pretty much every men’s leather line we come across, Spencer Nikosey’s KILLSPENCER wares are worth a trip to the men’s department. The difference is that the Los Angeles, California, native manages to capture his hipster cool and then, with unusual artistry, translate it into everything from luxury sports-gear to leather backpacks and iPhone accessories that are instantly covetable to men and women alike. The work KILLSPENCER produces is of a completely different ilk – more urban and stylized while still managing to maintain that sense of luxury. Saying we want it all is an understatement. And that’s saying something.
Not only are all of KILLSPENCER’s pieces made right here in the USA (something we have applauded on more than one occasion), each product is designed and manufactured in its Silverlake store and workshop. “We’ve built something special,” says Nikosey. “This isnt just another store, its also a state-of-the-art leather factory fully equipped with all the best machines in the world which enable our team to design, develop, and manufacture the best products right in our own space.” When we stopped in to visit KILLSPENCER and ask Nikosey a few questions, we couldn’t help but get swept away by the spirit of the place. We must admit, this more thoughtful and personal approach to design is one we have really come to appreciate.
TKC: How did KILLSPENCER get started?
SN: I studied industrial design at Art Center College of Design and I made a bag for a student project out of ‘re-purposed used in combat military truck tarp’. The response I got was really positive so I decided to launch a collection of bags, and wound up launching a full brand at my graduation show, and the company took off.
TKC: We love that you’ve got so much leather going on and have found more than a few things we “need.” We know the line is primarily for men, but do you have a lot of women who come looking for leather accessories as well?
SN: A lot of women are buying our ‘Daypack‘ which has a more relaxed feel, while also being able to hold all your stuff, computer, passport, moleskine, phone, pens, etc. It’s a great bag and women love it’s masculinity. We also have Zippered Pouches, a Foldover Clutch and will be coming out with a small line of Women’s bags as well too.
TKC: How would you describe your own personal style?
SN: Basic, simple, and modest. I like to blend in rather than standing out, and be reserved than being loud. All my stuff is minimal and monochromatic, but of the highest quality.
TKC: How does your personal style influence your designs?
SN: I want to design timeless, classic products that stand the test of time, and in a few years from now still look great, and are made with the best materials and most integrity.
TKC: We know this is like asking a parent to pick a child, but do you have a favorite piece?
SN: I love our Daypack. It’s my favorite bag right now, and our new Basketball Collection might be my favorite project to date.
TKC: Let’s say we stopped in the KILLSPENCER workshop some random day of the week. What would we find you wearing?
SN: Prob all black t-shirt by Second/Layer, Shorts by Zanerobe, Shoes by Common Projects, and a backwards KILLSPENCER ‘Custom Perforated’ 5 Panel Hat.
TKC: When you’re not working, how are you spending your free time?
SN: I’m having lots of fun partying lately. I’ve got an amazing group of friends and we do dinner parties often, jam sessions, basketball, rooftop yoga sessions, poolside at the Line Hotel.
TKC: Wallet or card case?
SN: Billfold Wallet.
TKC: Sweatpants or jeans?
TKC: Watch a sport or play a sport?
SN: Play basketball, box, jumprope, run. Skateboard to lunch.
TKC: Backpack or briefcase?
TKC: If you could travel anywhere right now, where would you go?
SN: Fukuoka Japan. First #Zuibaiji, Second #Nogita.
TKC: What’s next for KILLSPENCER?
SN: Working on a new Basketball Collection. It’s amazing in every way possible.
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images by Sylvia Gunde for TKC