Everything is possible in the city like New York, especially if we observe fashion and particularly men’s fashion. If we look globally, Italians are known for the dandy look, sleek and fashionable suits carefully paired with different ties, shoes, and even colorful socks that we can see during the Pitti Uomo. Londoners are more business oriented and when it comes to dressing smart, nobody does it better than them. Men in New York are daring, experimental and fun, like nowhere else. And the most daring among them shop at Jay Kos. Jay is the talk of the town with his extravagant designs of leather jackets, pants, bags and bold colors and prints of his mink or patchwork blazers. He is quickly developing a reputation for creating innovative, textile-driven fashion while continuously challenges stereotypical men’s style.
In the exclusive interview for Fashionela Jay Kos talks about fashion, good taste and creativity.
When did you become interested in fashion?
I was born interested in beauty and that has stayed with me from the very beginning. Fashion is just a result of my love of beauty.
How would you describe your personal style?
My personal style is something that comes from the inside, and it has very little to do with what I am wearing. The items I chose to wear are also a result of my personal style. Style is not something we sell in a store or online. Fashion is sold, style is innate.
Do you remember the first piece of clothing you were really obsessed with?
An Avirex jacket, wool green with suede brown sleeves that my parents bought me in NYC at the original store in SoHo Broadway in the ’80s.
How do you define good taste?
Good taste is often confusing. Taste is arbitrary and is not real. Taste is something that is only measurable in a defined category. Meaning, let’s take specialty coffee light roasted. This is a category among baristas and coffee aficionados, just like wine is to sommelier or wine lovers. So, in their rules of good vs. bad you find taste. This taste is not to be confused with a reality of good vs. bad in any capacity other than the one defined by those who know the rules of that category.
How do you define cool?
Cool is, and always has been, only to be authentic. You can not fake cool.
Have you always had a passion for color?
Color for me is a drug. I’m a visual junkie, and color is my crack.
Where do you stand on the line between innovation and tradition in your designs?
I don’t have a problem either way, it’s an interpretation of both. Personally, I’m not a fan of “too far from classic,” but I’m happy to see and use innovative ideas. However, what I find most innovative today is rather lazy or about money. Example is digital printing vs. screen printing. There is nothing positive from digital printing.
How do you get inspired?
Everyday living inspires me- food, travel, love, family…
We live in an instant-world, where trends are passing with a speed of light. Do you incorporate trends into your work?
I make trends!
Take us through your workflow.
My workflow is directly related to my flow. As I am in the flow, the inspiration flows and the products develop.
How do you know when you’ve found an idea that works?
People buy them.
Where did you get that creativity from?
I was born creative, everyone is. My lack of ability to work under traditional education and traditional ways of life formed my creativity.
Can you describe your typical client?
Rich. Secure. Fun.
Who would you like to see in your store?
Anyone from the previous question.
How long does it take to make a jacket?
From concept to finish: 1-10 years.
Which role does traveling play in your life?
It opens your eyes and takes you out of your regular zone.
What was the last place that really fascinated you?
What is the biggest challenge of working in the city like New York?
The client that has become obsessed with hype and has no love of actual product.
So what changes do you hope to see in fashion?
Fashion, for the most part, is over. It has been sold to Instagram, and other forms of social media, as a vehicle to get laid.
239 Mott Street
New York, NY 10012
Between West Houston & Prince Streets
Tel: (212) 319-2770
400 Bleecker Street
New York, NY 10014
Vesna Filipovic for Fashionela