I got the chance to catch up with David Koral (middle), the founder and designer of the new premium denim label, Koral Los Angeles. I got to ask him more about the brand, his favourite designs, the idea behind the name and concept, what’s coming up next season and more! So click this post to read the entire DenimBlog exclusive interview! You can also read my review on a pair of Koral jeans here and an introduction to the brand here.
DB: Hi David, nice to meet you! Could you tell us a little bit about your new denim brand, Koral Los Angeles?
DK: I’m always happy to talk about the story behind our brand because it not only tells how the premium denim market got started, it shares the story of my family. Following my grandfather’s path into the garment industry, my dad created and helped shape the premium denim market as we know it today, turning the jean into a versatile staple of everyday fashion. Now, I’ve followed my father’s lead and the two of us have reassembled a number of great talents he worked with before to help unleash our passion for denim and its continual evolution.
DB: So what sets Koral apart from other denim brands?
DK: Quality. I feel like there’s a growing void in the denim market. It seems like quality has been being sacrificed in the chase for novelty trends. Koral is devoted to bringing back the essence of what makes a great pair of jeans – quality material, refined finishing and flawless fit.
DB: There are a LOT of denim brands in the market today, how do you see Koral standing out and succeeding?
DK: There are definitely plenty of other brands on the market, but Koral is bringing an elevated sophistication with minimalistic influences to denim. From the purity of our fabrics, to our sexy silhouettes, to our immaculate packaging, I think Koral will be pretty hard to miss.
DB: I have looked at my Koral skinny jeans closely and I absolutely love the attention to detail. I find the little things in garments make them much more special. Is that why you wanted to add them in?
DK: Glad you asked that question. Painted-to-match labels, stitch details, rivet placement, and gilded-edge hangtags are some of the elements we have laboriously worked on from the get-go. These are definitely neither gestures nor afterthoughts that have been added in to our jeans. We’ve even enlisted the work of art director Marc Atlan [his portfolio includes Comme des Gar├ºons, Helmut Lang, Tom Ford, and Maison Martin Margiela] who has done a remarkable job conveying our vision through every single detail that goes into our packaging and branding.
DB: What sort of person do you see wearing Koral jeans? Or do you think they are versatile enough for everyone?
DK: The Koral woman carries a subtle, but powerful confidence. I imagine her with an appreciation for fine things, an appetite for culture and a playful spirit. She is a woman who other women respect and men adore. Whether she’s personified in the body of a 20 year-old or a 40 year-old, she is the Koral woman.
DB: I love the fit, the material, the style, everything about my pair of Koral jeans. I’m interested to know how long it took you to come up with the brand from the beginning to now?
DK: I convinced my dad to get back in the game last October and I still can’t get over how quickly it’s all come together. A lot of times you’ll hear people around the office talking about how they love our family environment and how we all work so well together. I think those sentiments play a huge factor in how extremely dedicated everyone is and how much we’ve been able to accomplish in a short period of time.
DB: I know [Peter and Rick] are the brains behind the ever successful 7 For All Mankind brand (which I also love). Can you compare Koral to 7 in any way, or would you say they are completely different?
DK: 7 For All Mankind was undoubtedly instrumental in creating the premium denim market, so I think it is fair to say Koral is its second generation. However, the creative inspiration, brand aesthetic, and craftsmanship of Koral are very different. I see 7FAM as more vintage, sexy and ornate, while Koral is contemporary, sophisticated and minimalistic.
DB: Do you have a favourite style you have designed?
DK: Right now I’m really into our colorblock styles. However, I’ll always be biased to our signature Lived In Length concept which features a range of washes progressing from 0-Month to 48-Month, hand-processed to reflect the natural wear and personality of its owner over time.
DB: Speaking of the lived in length collection, are you a fan of raw denim? I love raw denim and how it creates and tells a story through wear, what made you want to do this collection?
As a long time denim enthusiast, I have an extremely strong affection for raw denim and the way its character is enhanced over time. An aged pair of denim is not only comfortable, it’s comforting. Each pair suits a different mood and this was definitely an inspiration for our Lived In Length concept.
DB: What can we expect to see from the brand in the near future? Anything fun and fresh?
DK: Of course! Spring should always be fun and fresh. Our color palette is filled with pastels and bright jewel tones in high-stretch, high-recovery fabrics. We’ll also be introducing relaxed versions of skinnies, straight legs and cigarettes. But the best news (for me), is that we’ll be debuting our first men’s collection. A variety of fabrics, such as a modern stretch, a moderate rigid and a selvage denim will be offered in washes that coincide with the women’s line, including white washes, color techniques and of course our signature “lived in length” washes.
DB: I have been waiting for a new brand to come around that I completely fell in love with in every way. I think Koral may be it! Did you expect this reaction from everyone when you were creating the brand?
DK: That’s what I like to hear! Got to admit, it was a little nerve-racking the first day our jeans hit the retail floors. I had confidence the response would be outstanding over time, but I was overwhelmed by all the great feedback that started rolling in the first week.
DB: As an interesting fact, how many jeans do you personally own?
DK: Too many to keep track of, but I feel like I only keep a few of them on rotation at a time.
DB: Same as me! I am assuming the brand is named after your surname as well as the city it’s made in, were there any specific reasons for choosing the name?
DK: Like my dad says, we want to build a brand that lasts a lifetime. That’s why we put our name on it.
DB: Thank you so much for doing this interview with me and I wish you so much luck and success with the brand!