Two year old brand Krammer and Stoudt is bringing back old school values to modern menswear. In a landscape full of cloying brands vying for attention, rehashing derivatives of more successful brands, and making stuff overseas for cheap, some designers just stand out. Mike Rubin of Krammer and Stoudt is such a designer, delivering fresh reinterpretations of SoCal subcultures in some very wearable pieces.
Rubin, who was not only the coolest looking dude at PROJECT Las Vegas, but also the chillest, hails from Southern California. Mike was raised by his mother and grandparents in Southgate, located in the center of a 20 mile radius comprised of car builders, pinstripers, and automotive legends like Big Daddy Roth and Von Dutch. Mike then moved to Huntington Beach where he came up surfing competetively. The current AW14 collection touches on the Southwest as a result of time spent in New Mexico, where he chills out and develops each new season. Mike draws his inspiration for SS15 from the mystery surrounding his father, the Stoudt in Krammer & Stoudt (his mother being the Krammer in the brands namesake). His father was in a car club called The Gear Gamblers in Downey California when he got into trouble with the law and was sent to the Korean War shortly before Mike was born, never to return. It’s this enigmatic backstory that provides the special sauce that threads itself through Mike’s personal style and the work he creates. He’s blending experiences from his own DNA and melding the subcultures of surf, skate, punk and rockabilly into an alchemy of shear stylish bliss.
The current AW14 offering includes two burgundy bombers that just need a home in my closet. One in suede and one in a western scallop design constructed of hand treated leather applied in a way to create a warn patina as it ages, which incorporates a versatile detachable shawl collar. All pieces are made in NYC in the Garment District (three cheers for this) and designed at the Krammer and Stoudt Studio and Showroom in TriBeCa. Other items include western inspired shirts and cotton suits with athletic trousers, perfect for wearing to town after a long morning in the surf. References to the 50’s include Hollywood waistbands and stovepipe pants.
We see huge things for Krammer and Stoudt going forward and we will be sure to do a studio visit very soon. We can’t wait to see how the Southern California hot rod culture of the fifties, where drag/street racing began, will be felt throughout future collections, as Mike touches on the 70’s surf, skate, and punk cultures he participated in as a teen in Huntington Beach. When asked what the future for Krammer and Stoudt was, Courtney Nearburg, Mike’s wife and business partner replied that they’ll be headed to New Mexico where Mike will stew on AW15, which should include some nice unconstructed suits for the laidback bad-ass in all of us. We’ll be looking forward to it!
On a side note, they’ll be offering AW14 at NorthernGRADE pop up markets in Chicago, Minneapolis, and Brooklyn this fall, starting in October, and exclusively at Carlton Drew on Melrose in LA. AW14 will be online at TheCools.com and at their forthcoming e-commerce shop which is slated to open in October/November. The suede bombers will be available in limited quantity at those outlets, so get them quick, I’m already trying to figure out a way to squeeze myself into a sample… Cheers!