by Rachel Ciandella
Lucas Allen and Blake Landis, founders of Kibrono, traveled together not long after an introduction from mutual friends. While on the trip they found themselves enjoying loose, flowing garments which they’d borrowed from female friends. That, coupled with an observation that the market didn’t offer something similar of quality and for all genders, (and at an affordable price range without compromising the fabrics or production) a dialogue was sparked. Further fueled by a mutual desire to give back to local communities (a phrase, it’s worth noting, that’s misused by many corporations) and share their passion for creating and mentoring the younger generations, Kibrono was born.
Soft but durable, Kibrono’s pieces can act as a throw, a towel or a chic garment to wrap around before enjoying a sunset margarita. Truly multifunctional, they can hold up after surf sessions and also look appropriate at a poolside birthday soiree. “We want to cultivate a positive community and give back with less disposable and highly versatile, functional garments,” Allen explains to CH.
Sourcing the materials locally (initially through a process of trial and error), Lucas ran around the fashion district in LA to find everything from French Terry cotton to linen. The former, which they feature in three products, was created in a downtown LA mill. In speaking with LA producers, the Kibrono team realized they preferred the idea of designing for themselves—ultimately partnering with a local dressmaker on their four launch styles. It’s this sentiment and the fabric choices they’ve made that make all of their pieces feel approachable.
In fact, approachability ties together the brand’s mission: it’s all about openness and having an attitude that equips you to help others. This is a concept so key that they incorporated it into their name. All of the brand’s products are unisex but the meaning behind the word “brotherhood” struck them, in essence being there to support kin—no matter the gender.
“To expect magic, you must also create it,” Landis says. As an extension of this, the Kibrono team works directly with Free Arts, a charity that uses art to restore hope, resiliency, and self-esteem in LA children who have experienced abuse, neglect, poverty and homelessness. They serve more than 22,000 children between ages five and 18 each year via nearly 200 adult volunteer mentors. Mentoring is something Kibrono wants to focus on.
As for the outerwear, “The demographic is everyone, a singular movement, and and inclusive mindset,” Allen continues. This is, “A garment that takes you through every social occasion, from a desert festival to a pool party, or checking out a local museum.” And, of course, they function simply for comfort at home. This is the durability and versatility we now crave from functional, socially conscious products.
Images courtesy of Kibrono