As Fashion Week MN fast approaches, a frenetic energy fills a fourth-floor studio of the Northrup King Building. Despite the nerves, Kimberly Jurek and Jennifer Chilstrom are not new to the fashion game -- the Kjurek label was founded by Jurek in 2005 and joined by Chilstrom in 2011 -- but the duo have just given their line a new name.
Now going by Kindred Folk, the clothes still have an easy-going and effortless -- but never sloppy -- vibe, from hand-dyed silks to sleek leather accents.
The name change came along as a way to incorporate both designers, and leave the pair open to the possibility of expanding their product offerings. "We've really found our groove together as designers," says Jurek. This is evident as both women sort through the rack of garments for the debut collection under the new label, exchanging ideas for final touches.
"We have a direction, but don't know what it will actually look like until it's on the runway," Jurek explains. The collection -- which pairs black with shades of gold on hand-painted fabrics, crushed velvet, and a variety of other textured textiles -- will be presented Saturday at the 10th anniversary of Envision.
"Part of collection making for a runway show is making it both interesting and cohesive" says Jurek.
"Yet each of the pieces tell their own story," explains Chilstrom, eagerly showing off the paintbrush used for the fabrics in the collection. "I played around with it, and decided to only work with it while it was wet." This technique led to the unique variations in intensity of color in each stroke on the painted garments.
As the two build their brand, Jurek and Chilstrom have thought about expanding their product line as well. "I'm inspired by a lot of things in the day to day, like what we put in our homes," Chilstrom explains when asked about the possibility of offering home decor or artwork as part of Kindred Folk.
The brand will also launch an online store sometime this fall. Up until now, their garments have been available at their Northrup King Building studio and the collaborative makers space they co-founded, Showroom.
This special collection will make its runway debut at Envision, but a presale opportunity will be available earlier that day at a trunk show during the North Loop Fall Crawl at the Goldfine Designs jewelry studio.
A fabric swatch from a piece featured in the upcomong show.