Photography by Rocco Morabito
At just 20 years old, Kristofer Kekoa Iskandar already boasts two participations in Fusion, the competitive fashion show between the Fashion Institute of Technology and Parsons School of Design, where he is beginning his Junior year and emerging as a rising talent.
Originally from Jakarta, Indonesia, Iskandar is using his diverse background, knowledge of the market, and creative vision to break into an industry where you are either in or out, and where the new quickly becomes the old. Here, Iskander tells us why he thinks he can make the cut.
Why did you chose fashion design as a career path?
I grew up in the art scene. My mom was an art dealer. For me, it just seemed like another way to express my art. I actually started off with a fine art base. When I was younger I used to want to be a painter. Then that led to my interest in textiles. In textiles, I began to think about how fabric could be used on the body, which led me to fashion design and couture. I loved making things that people could wear.
What about the competition? There are 260 shows on the New York Fashion Week men's and women's schedule...
Naturally, I'm a competitive person. I just want to be the best. This is my art and my creativity. It's not just a hobby.
Menswear and womenswear are becoming increasingly interchangeable. Are they the same thing now?
I think that they are still different. Only recently has it really been up and coming in womenswear, which I feel is because of the influence of streetstyle, changing the game of menswear and the way it is designed.
Do you design with editors and buyers in mind?
I'm going to design what I want to design, but at the same time I do need to be smart about my decisions. When I chose to focus on menswear, my decision was influenced by where the market is headed, because I had to do what made sense. However, when it comes to trends, I will not change my designs.
People aren't necessarily following trends either...
Our generation is opening their minds up to new things. We see things differently now. Fashion is evolving and changing from an art form to something that is appreciated worldwide. But change takes time.
Check out Iskander's work at KekoaIskander.com