Kynsho is a very unique name! What does it mean and why did you make it the name of you brand?
Kynsho means in pursuit of personal progress in Zen Buddhism. I chose this name because when you find purpose in life, it gives you an intense sense of clarity, nothing else matters but accomplishing that goal. We are all on a journey to find our purpose, our mission is to make the tools and accessories to enable everyone to reach their full potential.
What do you typically create and design?
I design outerwear with style that protects. Everything we make is purposeful, functional and designed with an element of urban sophistication. This includes designing products unique to the four seasons like our Summer Cowl that protect you from air conditioning, our Cool Breeze T-shirts that create pockets of air around your movements in humid weather, our holsters that provide device protection and our Crossover Cowl that provides face and neck protection throughout fall and winter.
“COVID-19 has brought clarity and confirmation that our mission to design outerwear with style that protects has never been more relevant."
What made you want to be a designer?
At my core I want to create my own reality. I’ve always been a problem solver. I started my first business apparel company when I was 16. When I see poorly designed products or experiences that I believe can be fundamentally better, I create my own versions. If I am pleased with the results, I share them with world through my brand Kynsho.
How has COVID-19 effected your brands business?
COVID-19 has brought clarity and confirmation that our mission to design outerwear with style that protects has never been more relevant. Moving forward, protective wear will become an everyday essential. We believe that protective gear doesn’t need to feel clinical or technical, it can still look sophisticated.
We noticed you started designing and manufacturing masks! How were you able to get this done so quickly?
I have relationships with fabric suppliers and factories in New York City. Prior to COVID-19, I wanted a facemask for my daily commute on my bicycle and moped. I adapted the design and worked with my suppliers to make some that I could give to non-medical workers like bodega operators, grocery store employees and sanitation workers.
What is the overall goal you would like to accomplish with these new production efforts?
My dad was a sanitation worker. If he wasn’t retired, he would be out working in the field. There are so many non-medical essential workers that make our lives possible that are at risk. I also see a lot of waste. The city streets are littered with latex gloves and discarded facemasks. I wanted to make a durable, reusable and washable facemask for everyday people.
“Don’t design for a moment, design for a movement."
What has been the reaction of your consumers? Who is purchasing or receiving these masks?
All positive feedback, people are thankful for non-medical mask that they can reuse. I get a lot of medical staff who are buying masks for their individual groups at hospitals. Families that want protection for the household, adults buying masks for their aging parents and people who want an element of style.
Were they approved to be used in hospitals?
I follow non-medical masks guideline provided by Mask4Medicine which are standards created my medical professionals on how to make protective facemask.
Is this something you will continue with after the pandemic?
Yes, this is part of our mission to provide style that protects.
How would you encourage others to help during this time of need?
Design is a powerful tool. There are so many gaps that design can help solve from apparel to food systems. I would encourage people to understand where people have unmet needs and use their particular set of skills to enable people.
If you could give one piece of advice to the fashion industry and its consumers, what would it be?
Don’t design for a moment, design for a movement.