Meet Kim Grisdale, the self taught fashion designer and maker behind Kustoms Clothing. Born out of a need for creativity during lockdown, Kustoms Clothing has evolved from a hobby documented on TikTok to a fully fledged fashion brand.
The faux fur accessories and parachute trousers are definitely serving 90s rave culture and Kim cites the Diesel SS23 collection as an influence but ditch the 90s excess and throw sustainability into the mix instead - think made to order, small batch, deadstock fabric, made in the UK, available to rent - and you start to build a picture of Kustoms vibe.
Loved by content creators, with sculptural whirlpool drapes that twist and turn on the body, Kustoms silk iridescent parachute trousers are gaining cult status on Tiktok (3.8 million likes don't lie) and now you can rent them on LOANHOOD.
Dropping Thursday 6th October 2022.
Give us a little intro to yourself, Kim…
As a kid I always had an interest in creating, I was part of the cross stitch club, clay animation club and was always making teddy bears from my old cut up Pjs. I also played the saxophone and sometimes still do. That need to create evolved over the years and ended up getting an A in my art A level then had a big break from creating in the first year of my Marketing degree at Newcastle in 2018 but found my way back to it through my brand. Now I’ve finally finished my degree I’m doing my brand full time!
How did you get into fashion?
I actually never realised it was something I was interested in until I was around 19 when I bought my first sewing machine. I did it more because I desired to have an arty hobby again as I’ve always been really creative and ended up finding all the things I could do, learn and make super interesting and inspiring.
I really started creating consistently over the first lockdown in 2020 where I posted daily TikToks of my creations which led to me selling my first pieces.
Tell us about your brand Kustoms Clothing and the journey so far
I really started creating consistently over the first lockdown in 2020 where I posted daily TikToks of my creations which led to me selling my first pieces. From there I’ve created a website, done collaborations with other brands, created paid content for TikTok and other brands, as well as completed my marketing degree. I had to take a few months break to write my dissertation but also taught myself loads more about pattern cutting and design in that time and now I’m back and taking the brand full time!
How have you found building a business?
For me, it’s definitely not been a linear process, especially as it all happened so quickly at the start so I was kind of learning on the job which was really high pressure alongside my degree. There have definitely been ups and downs but now I’ve finished uni it's given me some time to strategise and work on my skills as a creator and business owner so I’m super excited for this next year.
What's next for Kustoms Clothing?
I’ve recently discovered a love for texture and sculptural style pieces so I’d love to learn and explore that more in my work as I haven’t seen many brands with that focus.
In the future I’d also love to own a studio in London with in-house seamstresses creating pieces with some heading to concept stores around the world!
What drew you to rental? Why are you doing it?
My brand has always been centred around being as sustainable and ethical as possible through recycling scraps, using end-of-line or deadstock materials and only using certified suppliers or local seamstresses.
Rental naturally fits in with these values as it's a great way to reduce textile waste and get more use out of one piece. It’s also a great way for potential customers to try before they buy!
Personally I think you are your own best advertisement so I wear my own pieces everywhere.
How do you get your name out there?
As I mentioned earlier I started on TikTok and that is still my biggest page by far and my favourite platform. I also use Instagram and used Depop before I created my website.
Personally I think you are your own best advertisement so I wear my own pieces everywhere. I also work with other brands, influencers and celebrity stylists on collaborations, look books and gifting opportunities as they’re great for unique content and broadening my brand’s reach.
Who do you design for?
It may sound a bit silly but I design for myself, I find when I’m being authentic to me and my taste it really shows and people like that! I’d say I have quite a bold style and I’m not afraid to stand out so I design a lot of statement pieces using funky pattern cutting techniques, eye-catching materials, cutouts, ties and unique colour combinations.
Which designers inspire you?
At the moment I absolutely love Ottolinger and although not a brand, the page @behind_shapesoffabric on Instagram is one of my favourites as the designer turns basic silhouettes into these insane sculptural pieces using various pattern cutting techniques.
The Diesel SS23 show has also been a high inspo for me recently as I’m working with a lot of denim at the moment for new pieces.
How to rent Kustoms Clothing via LOANHOOD
All you need is a phone and a Stripe account (just like Depop)
- Download the LOANHOOD app
- Search Kustoms Clothing and browse their listings
- Find something you love and tap "Request Rental" or save to your wishlist for later
But why rent?
We get it fashion rental feels... different but we think you'll love it.
- Save money. For a fraction of the retail price you can wear the coolest clothes and return them without the guilt of fast fashion.
- Support the independent brands and makers you love in their sustainability journey
- It's fun! Join a growing community of style lovers and fashion activists opening their wardrobes and changing the face of fashion