In the competitive market of the t-shirt world, up-and-comer Kanvas Kings seems to be making a name for themselves. As the brain child of South Jersey native Christian Moore, Kanvas Kings began its ascendance one snowy day on a college campus in Worcester, Massachusetts.
By combining cutting edge designs, with a unique retro flare of color and image, Kanvas Kings hopes to capture the attention of a broad audience. And as it stands, it seems to be working. Existing for less than a year, Kanvas Kings has managed to garnish immediate attention from consumers, and promising opportunities from investors.
Standing at 6’8” inches, and hosting nearly 14 tattoos, Mr. Moore is as imposing as his designs. Two.One.Five Magazine had the opportunity to speak with the founder of Kanvas Kings to discuss his inspiration, direction and future.
How exactly did Kanvas Kings get its start?
It was during Christmas Break from college. I remained on campus because of basketball, but the dorms were snowed in. After practice I would have about 10 hours to myself to design. I wasn’t too happy with the shirts that were currently out there; so I figured, why not start my own clothing line? I wanted the company to take on my personality. I love being confident and taking risk, and I wanted the name to instill a sense of pride – Kanvas Kings seemed perfect. It's inspired by a tattoo I have. It's a quote that reads, “Life is your canvas, paint your dreams on it and make your own masterpiece.” I love that quote. It means be the master of your soul, and be the King of your life (kanvas).
As an artist, where do you draw your inspiration?
Most of my inspiration comes from looking at what people wear in general. I enjoy mixing colors in new ways – the same goes for clothing. Growing up in South Jersey, I would spend a lot of time in Philly. This gave me the opportunity to check out all the crazy, different outfits people wear. From there, I transfer the idea onto the computer and either it clicks or it doesn’t.
The t-shirt market is a popular one – how do you see your brand making a name for itself? In other words, what will set you apart?
Kanvas Kings is not a huge company that pumps out generic designs. I am one designer that is producing work that, hopefully, speaks to people. Kanvas Kings will succeed because of its uniqueness, and its originality. I’m not going anywhere until we are competing as one of the top clothing lines.
How do you see KanvasKings evolving? Will you branch off into other clothing lines?
Right now, we are really trying to focus on our online store @ kanvaskings.com. The next step is to find our way into retail stores. Areas like Newbury Street in Boston, or South Street in Philly. That’s what we represent, being unique and different.
I love fashion and everything about it. Figuring out what looks good and what doesn’t has always been a part of my personality. I like being different. Chuck Taylors with a nice suit, Perfect! I try to bring this out in my designs. Which works perfect because the fashion industry correlates with graphic design in every way – colors, fabrics, patterns, matching. Being a designer you have to understand typography, matching, colors, textures, backgrounds and spacing. I thought that if I brought my knowledge from the computer to the clothes, it would work.
What markets have you had success in? And when will we see the shirts on the streets of Philadelphia?
It all started on my campus at Assumption College. After my initial print of 200 shirts, it just really took off. People would be coming in my apartment and snagging a shirt every day. It was immediately embraced. Everyone knew that if you had a Kanvas Kings shirt, you got it from Christian. It felt like a movement. From here, I am going to start marketing to college campuses first – especially in Philly. If you haven’t seen people wearing the shirts yet, you will soon.
For more information on the company see: http://www.kanvaskings.com/
And like Kanvas Kings on Facebook.