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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Designer Q&A: Andrew Kingsbury

Meet Andrew Kingsbury, the man behind Decadence. He has a cool sense of style and is amazing at taking old objects and making them into new treasures. You can find his leather accessories at the Vitae shop. Read on to find out Andrew’s definition of style, his views on Des Moines and what he has next for Decadence.

Introduce yourself J
I’m Andrew Kingsbury. I am a graphic designer full time for Iowa State University and in my spare time I do jewelry making. I have been doing it since 2004 informally and on a professional basis since 2010.

How did you get started?
Originally I was just making things for myself and friends. I was interested in leather craft. I was buying belts from the thrift store and started making them for myself. 

What are you up to now?
I sell at Market Day. I have done that every month this season. I also sell at Vitae and White Rabbit in Iowa City. That’s pretty much what I have been doing as far as jewelry goes. I have an Etsy store, but I don’t get to update it as much with my full time job.

What statement is a person making when wearing your pieces?
They appreciate the aesthetic that I am going for. They appreciate antique or recycled things. I would describe my items as unique more than anything else.

How do you define style? What is your personal fashion/style philosophy?
Style is whatever represents who you are or who you want to be. Even if someone else’s style is not something I would wear, I can appreciate the look. I think it is just an expression of who you are. I am personally inspired by history a lot in fashion like the industrial revolution. Things were made in mass production, but they were made really heavy duty. In my designs I try to point back to vintage and past things. I like to include relics in my work to remind people of that time in history. It tells a story. They have all been something in a prior life.

Your top style essentials are…?
  •  Henley shirt, I’m really into them.
  •  Cardigan sweater
  •  Good pair of straight legged jeans or khakis
  •  Good pair of rugged boots

What’s in and what’s out?
IN: Leather accessories, which is awesome for me. The DIY movement has been pretty successful, whether people are making it themselves or buying from those who make it.
OUT: Wearing gym clothes in public. You don't have to be a millionaire or a celebrity to have a put together look. There's always an opportunity to look good.

Where do you see your line in 5 years?
I’d like to be selling in a few more stores, even in the east or west coast. I think more exposure out of Iowa is what I would be trying to pursue. Doing more stores and less shows is something I would be interested in. As far as the look of my line, I hope it would resemble some of what it is now, but also following and keeping up with trends as well as evolving into something different.

Favorite Current Trend?
I really like the rugged but stylish look. Good leather work boots and straight legged jeans that are rolled up. Form fitted jackets and herringbone. Western is another style I really like. Drawing from that era/style. TV and movies are also a big inspiration. I really like sci-fi. They have good wardrobes.

Trend that you are sick of/could do without/overexposed?
The whole ironic hipster mustache thing. I am really sick of that. I also think the colored jean trend is strange. They have their time and place, but they don’t work for everyone. I also don’t get the obsession with boat shoes.

Your collection/brand in 3 words?
Vintage. Repurposed. Unique.

Vitae is…
An amazing unique place in DSM. I love how well they treat artists and they are artist themselves so they really connect with us. One of the best places I have done business with. I can’t say enough good things about them!

Des Moines is…
Trying! DSM is doing well. I grew up in Ames so I came down to DSM on the weekends with my parents. It has come a long way. It’s no New York, but for Iowa we are doing well!

What’s next for you?
Short term, I have three big shows in Iowa. I am winding down my season until next spring. Next spring I will try to do a few shows and hit more consignment stores and focus on more online sales.

How can readers contact you?

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