Interview with Yasar Ceviker, Co-Founder of Munich Menswear Brand A Kind of Guise
January 19th 2012
Here we present an interview with Yasar Ceviker, co-founder and designer of A Kind of Guise, this time offering a different twist to our normal feature format. It’s a showcase of the new Fall/Winter 2012 collection named ‘The Carpathian Season’, heavily inspired by the way of life and the attitudes of the people that they meet in different environments and countries on their travels. You can definitely see this in the fabric and textile combinations, something that seems to play a big part in each AKOG collection.
Hopefully you will enjoy this piece that we put together, view all of the full outfit shots by heading towards the bottom of the page, more lookbook orientated shots are to the right in the slideshow.
1) Could you explain a little bit about yourself and what you do?
My name is Yasar, 27, founder of Munich based brand AKOG (A Kind of Guise).
2) How did you and your girlfriend get started with A Kind of Guise and what were your backgrounds before this?
It started off as a small student project, we purchased left over vintage leather from an old medicine ball factory and created a limited collection of bags.
Now the team consists of 5 people, coming from different backgrounds such as design, music and art. A few of us are still going to school and we try to make AKOG open to everybody who shares our interests and lifestyle.
3) You all seem to have a lot of fun with the creative aspects of the brand, particularly the visual elements like the photography and films. With these in mind, where do you pull influences from and who inspires you to keep being creative in this way?
Most of the time we get inspired by our daily influences, we try to translate these into our products and other creative aspects. We always think of what could be good for our friends and us. And of course good music and films are a great inspiration to us.
4) It’s great to be able to share your behind the scenes imagery, the readers seem to love it and this adds a bit of personality to the brand. How important is it to be transparent like this and to showcase the lifestyle behind the products?
We think it´s very important to be transparent like this, we don´t want to hide anything, everyone can come by and have a look at how we work.
Our environment has to reflect our attitude, this is very important to us.
5) It’s nice to see European products being made closer to home, how much of a challenge is it to keep production this way and why should a European customer support it?
It´s not always easy to produce everything in Europe, or in our case Germany, there are only a few manufacturers who gave us the opportunity to keep the production as local as possible.
It’s not about quantity it’s the quality aspect that we want to keep alive and of course it’s easier to create a better relationship with the people that you work with.
6) Could you take us through a typical A Kind of Guise piece and explain the different stages behind the product and how it gets made?
Travel. Think. Analyse. Solve. Create. Seriously there isn’t really a “typical” work flow as such. But in general we always talk to each other about what we want to do next and what we would like see other people wearing. And then we start somehow, looking for nice fabrics, choosing styles and other things like that. Everything is done through hard work with a lot of designing until the best version makes it into production.
7) How difficult is it to wage the right quantities for each collection, surely there’s always a fine balance between too much variety and not enough?
Well since we’ve only existed for 2 years as a brand it’s a lot about experience and learning. It’s a steady process and we’re right at the beginning of it.
8) What is the Kilim project and how did it come about?
About 2 years ago we made a trip to the middle east. We bought used carpets from almost every country located around the persian gulf.
Each carpet is hand knitted and a few of them date all the way back from the beginning of the 19th century. Over the years we´ve collected more than 50 carpets to make a limited collection of 100 bags. Every piece is unique and handmade in our studio.
9) How much has this project influenced the way that you approach designing the A Kind of Guise collection?
We’ve always worked with different kinds of materials. Combining stuff from different contexts is a big part of our work flow anyway, we definitely want to keep it that way!
10) What did it feel like to collaborate with Denmark’s finest WOOD WOOD on a limited edition run of the Double Denim bag?
That was a great project for us. We really appreciate that they support younger brands like ourselves.
11) A Kind of Guise is very much a lifestyle influenced brand so what are the things that you do outside of work that influence what you create in the studio?
I love skateboarding, playing soccer or being outside with my dog.
The greatest thing about living in Munich is that you have the alps and lots of great landscape very close to you.
12) What are your ambitions for the brand and who would you like to emulate in the industry, if any?
Grow slowly, but grow strong. Keep a real attitude alive, no fake. Always involve our friends and make A Kind of Guise a bigger family.
13) What’s next for A Kind of Guise? Any projects you can shed some light on?
We´ve just finished our Autumn/Winter 2012 collection so expect some special projects coming next year! It’s already in progress!