Kit Keenan, Daughter of Cynthia Rowley, Starts Her Own Fashion Line – The New York Times


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Kit Keenan, Daughter of Cynthia Rowley, Starts Her Own Fashion Line

The brand, KIT, includes affordable wardrobe staples like hoodies, T-shirts and a little black dress.

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“I didn’t have a business plan or fancy investors,” said Kit Keenan about her clothing line, KIT.CreditCreditJessica Lehrman for The New York Times

By Ann Binlot

  • Jan. 11, 2019

Name: Kit Clementine Keenan

Age: 19

Hometown: New York

Now Lives: She splits her time between a studio loft in Downtown Los Angeles and her parents’ townhouse in the West Village.

Claim to Fame: Ms. Keenan is the daughter of Cynthia Rowley, the fashion designer. And although she is still in college (she is a second-year film student at the USC School of Cinematic Arts in Los Angeles), she is already following in her mother’s footsteps. Last year, Ms. Keenan started a youth-centric clothing brand called KIT. The line, which is sold exclusively through the company’s website, includes a mishmash of styles including graphic hoodies and white prairie dresses (prices range from $45 to $220). The randomness is by design. “What I want to do with the brand is have every drop be a complete reinvention, so it’s not like having to stick to one image of the brand,” Ms. Keenan said.

Big Break: Ms. Keenan got the idea for her clothing label during her freshman year of college and used savings from modeling gigs to start the line. Having family connections certainly didn’t hurt. Her mother advised her on production and which factories to use. And when the site went live last June, it was covered by Elle and Women’s Wear Daily. KIT also had a pop-up shop last summer at the Surf Lodge in Montauk, where her parents have a home. “I didn’t have a business plan or fancy investors,” Ms. Keenan said. “I had a few thousand dollars and some good advice.”

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Ms. Keenan in one of her hoodies.

Latest Project: In July, Ms. Keenan released a second collection: six streetwear pieces that feature a Playboy bunny-like image created by Richard Prince, the contemporary artist, who also happens to be a close family friend. Mr. Prince had posted the image on his private Instagram account and invited followers to use his art. Ms. Keenan took him up on the offer. “I love this image, and I’ve had the print of it in my room growing up my entire life,” Ms. Keenan said.

Next Thing: Ms. Keenan recently created her version of the little black dress, a body hugging black mock-neck dress, and is currently working on a small collection of basics for women with all kinds of bodies. “I have been working on perfecting one basic dress that is made to stretch to a wider range of sizes,” Ms. Keenan said. “I believe there is a gap in the industry for high quality basics that look good on a range of body types.”

Bedtime Brainstorm: Borrowing an idea from her mother, Ms. Keenan keeps a notebook next to her bed so she can jot down ideas. “I was looking at my notes the other day, and one of them said, ‘Mongolian cashmere,’ and one of them said, ‘playing dress-up as a shoot idea,’” Ms. Keenan said. “When we’re in that trying-to-relax state, that’s when we’re most creative.”

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