Jey Perie was born in the south of France and spent his formative years in Barcelona, Hong Kong, and Tokyo before moving to New York City. So he knows his way around the global capitals of cool. As such, he is uniquely suited to his role as creative director for Kinfolk, a brand that exists on many levels that all share a common thread of creativity and taste.
Kinfolk started in Tokyo in 2008 as a bar/bicycle manufacturer, the kind of delightfully quirky hybrid that seems to only exist in Japan. The brand has since expanded greatly in the U.S. with a clothing line, a nightclub, a retail store, and a cafe that sit side by side each other in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Williamsburg. With the numerous ventures, Perie sees his role as much more than designing garments. While a lot of brands talk about cultivating a lifestyle, Kinfolk walks the walk in a much more tangible way. “For me as a clothing guy, having the store and nightclub in the back is a gift,” Perie says. “Having a concrete representation of that lifestyle just across that wall with people dancing, listening to cool music, and having fun is amazing. We don’t reference it, we live it.”
An important part of that lifestyle is inclusivity. In the same way that everyone is welcome in Kinfolk’s bar to have a drink, Perie tries to design and curate clothing that is equally accessible. “Any kind of guy that wants to dress well could find a piece here, a little bit of contemporary from Europe, a little bit of classic Japanese indigo, Americana stuff, classic sportswear.”
That vibe was clearly reflected in the pieces that Perie selected from Kinfolk’s current offerings when we asked him what a guy should wear right now.
STONE ISLAND SWEATSHIRT
Kinfolk doesn’t stock many mass brands, but Perie has a longstanding affinity for Stone Island. “It relates to soccer for me, the terrace culture,” he says. Kinfolk is very involved with soccer in New York so to be aligned with another brand that makes “amazing sportswear” and shares that love for the sport is a nice synergy.
CONVERSE X STUSSY ONE STAR ‘74
This Converse and Stussy collab stands out on its own, but holds special meaning for Perie, who has friends that work at both companies. The ‘90s vibes abound on these sneakers with their dusty pink uppers and black midsoles. Says Perie, “I’m not usually a One Star kind of guy, but I like the way they did the color panels on these.”
PROSPECTIVE FLOW X KINFOLK REPAIR JACKET
The design duo behind Prospective Flow came to the U.S. from Japan to try and make it as basketball players. While their hoop dreams didn’t pan out, they had a sharp eye for clothing and launched their own brand. For Prospective Flow’s collaboration with Kinfolk, they infused a traditional military jacket with handcrafted Japanese design details. “This is a high ticket item, but it’s completely redone,” says Perie.
KINFOLK MONROE CHORE COAT
“I did [a version of this jacket] with indigo canvas in the summer of 2015, and wanted to bring it back with a little more texture,” Perie says of this chore coat that is constructed from a heavy wool flannel and has three functional pockets. “It’s a little more sophisticated, very clean. A lot of guys whether they’re fashion forward or not [can wear it].”
NEWMAN RUSSELL SUNGLASSES
There are a couple of reasons why Perie loves these glasses from the Japanese brand Newman. One is that they work great for guys who have a narrow face or a smaller head. The other is that despite being of the utmost quality, they aren’t over-the-top expensive. “It’s not like you lose a family member if you lose or break them,” he says with a laugh.
KINFOLK EDMONDS DENIM
To ensure the highest quality, Kinfolk makes its jeans in Okayama, Japan, which is like Mecca for denim nerds. These jeans use a very dry denim that has a great feel to it. And forget about any prohibitions about wearing white after Labor Day. “I love wearing white pants in the middle of winter, going against the rule,” Perie says. “When it gets a bit dirty, it adds to the charm of it.”
KINFOLK GOOD TIMES T-SHIRT
Given his background in countries around the globe, it’s easy to see why Perie themed his fall collection “Good Times International” and created this T-shirt. “When you go to LA or Tokyo or Paris or London, you end up meeting the same people. Being able to see the same faces and places when you’re in a foreign land is cool. We’ve created a global community of people that enjoy the same thing,” he says, and Good Times International is the representation of that clique.