Designers Kara and Brit Smith of ELKIN owe their many muses to the stories and subjects of their interesting lives – each collection drawing from a new literary genre. Infusing the music they love, the pictures they’ve taken, the cities they’ve explored and the nights spent awake, the ELKIN aesthetic is a collective experience between two sisters expressing their individual creativity.
ELKIN, a women’s ready-to-wear line, embraces an edgy yet feminine silhouette, while maintaining a high-end sophistication that stays true to their signature Lolita vibe. Jumping from the refined to the raw, the pretty to the punk, the Smith sisters have embarked on a medium through design that epitomizes the paradoxical edge of one another. Transporting this element to the design table has resulted in an unparallel ability to fuse the complex and feminine.
Born and raised in Los Angeles California, their grandfather, a fine artist, encouraged early self-expression through various outlets. Both girls attended catholic school, where Kara spent quality time in detention with the nuns, while Brit fled to the library to study. Indicative of the bad girl/good girl dynamic of the brand, Kara and Brit have channeled their youth experiences into a synergy of juxtapositions that is ELKIN.
With each collection, ELKIN thrives on its inspiration and for Fall 2012 the girls gave a nod to the sci- fi genre. Incorporating silk fabrics, black leather, galactic brocades and velvets, their futuristic downtown girl was created. “We read cyberpunk novels from author William Gibson and fantasy novels from Jules Verne while listening to a lot of low-fi music to help create the mood for our collection” says Kara and Brit.
Authentic altruists, the sister design duo was certain to stamp the ELKIN brand into the philanthropic pool. By teaming up with non-profit organization H.O.P.E (Helping Other People Everywhere), every ELKIN piece sold will allow one children’s book to be donated to a wonderful organization that brings literature and art to children in need (www.hopecampaign.org).