Kenyon QS makes architecturally simple, beautiful and rigorous leather accessories.Deeply personal and extension of his craft we had the chance to sit down with him to discuss rigors of practice, the mod scene, the craft and keeping simple as an ethos on living.
Why did you start making bags and more importantly why?
I started making bags as a way to get into branding, something I was interested as a profession, and I wanted something that would and could represent my individuality. Something I could do out of a studio in Oakland and something that was attainable and still offered something representative of a collective process.
I came out to Oakland to work with another designer who took me under her wing and taught me the basics of construction and production. There I stumbled across making bags, and started making them for myself. I started to make my own brand as way to understand how I could possible help others explore branding too.
What is attractive about branding to you?
I went to SCAAD and from there I was most attracted to “branding” as a concept of individual, and and how individualistic it can be, how specific it can be towards expression. There is something spectacular that allows on be themselves through a brand. You can build a community through branding and I was attracted to it. I have my own ideology and philosophy towards how to live and how to be? The bags and my products
What are some of these philosophies?
I‘m a little bit of a Mod kid. Clean living under difficult situations. Trying to be clean, simple, focused to get by the daily.
You mean the Mod Music Scene?
Yeah, but something bigger more as representation of modernity. As a way to remove frills and excess. To simplify. I’m not interested into decorated life, I want a super clean artistic movement and zen approach. I’m totally into Zen,
So you the bags? How did you approach the design?
The idea is based on the standard 11” by 17” inch of paper. The bag is a composition of using a 11” by 17” piece of paper and keeping it scaled to ratio to the standard. I’m interested in using this standard simple standard and contracting and exploring through this scale.
I’m really interested in exploring and using this ratio as a super simple, and
Keeping things simple as a way to survive.
So something like the golden ratio?
Yeah just like that, but instead of the golden ratio, I’m using the 11” * 17” sheet as standard to start my composition.
Do you find these ratios, or grids a bit fascist? Constricting?
I’m definitely not a fascist. I do however like instead the rigor of using a standard. You can always step off the grid to be more natural, but its a good starting point, a map to explore. Its a reference point. Obviously with the bags, there is something about form, but there is a basis and explore how things fall. I’m interested in draping, moderns cuts that use that basis.
What else are you working on?
I’m expanding through Kenyon QS. I’m interested in new forms, new cultural references and identities. Exploring maybe my more aggressive parts of my identity. I’m exploring the Yin-yang of my mod interests. I’m doing things using free hand, making hats by hand, drawing and printing shirts with more loose lines. I’m working on some hats with leather caps to explore my brand, its all me and exploring the borders of that concept. Kenyon QS is an extension and exploration of my identity. I like exploring my influences and understanding my place thru this process.