KING KENNEDY DEBUTS FIRST STANDALONE GALLERY IN LOS ANGELES
For Immediate Release: The Fashion Industry’s Favorite Rug Dealer Officially Opens Doors to Flagship Location in Eagle Rock
Los Angeles, CA, October 2023 – King Kennedy is pleased to announce the opening of its first standalone gallery and flagship location at 5022 Eagle Rock Boulevard in Los Angeles on October 19th. Featuring the brand’s industry-favorite footwear and garments alongside a compelling and ever-evolving collection of antique and contemporary rugs, the gallery marks King Kennedy’s first dedicated brick and mortar location. The space will serve as a showcase for an evolving artistic and sartorial exploration of imperfection and reinvention, made tangible through the growing assortment of garments and footwear crafted from remnants of rugs – symbolic of generations of slow craftsmanship.
King Kennedy was founded by Mikael Kennedy in 2008 in New York City, where he honed his skills and forged invaluable relationships within the fashion industry prior to launching the business. However, it was in Los Angeles that the brand found the vastness and creative freedom needed to flourish – aligning with Kennedy's ethos of reinvention and attracting fellow dreamers. Named “the fashion industry’s favorite rug dealer” by GQ Magazine, Kennedy, a former art & fashion photographer, turned his eye to creating one-of-a-kind iconic pieces of footwear and ready-to-wear in 2020, using antique rug scraps from late 19th century and early 20th century. Mixing modern designs with antique textiles, King Kennedy has created a niche in garment and product design unlike anything else – highly coveted sculptural pieces of art, made to be used and worn.
As the company grew organically, Eagle Rock – a creative hub in the heart of LA – became the perfect canvas for King Kennedy's first standalone gallery. The new gallery is a physical embodiment of the King Kennedy ethos. Kennedy's design philosophy is rooted in embracing imperfections and the allure of spontaneity. His early photographic work was characterized by the use of expired Polaroid film and a willingness to "embrace the accidents." This ethos, akin to the Japanese concept of Wabi Sabi, aimed to infuse art with human imperfections and physicality. It was an exploration of the tangible and the spiritual. The transition from Polaroids to rugs was seamless for Kennedy, who values the magic that arises from chaos and freedom. Rugs, with their intentional imperfections and wear, embody the essence of humanity. They are canvases that carry the weight of existence, in stark contrast to sterile environments.
“After so many years showing this collection out of my private photo studio, and as the project expanded, I wanted to open this up to the general public” says Mikael Kennedy about the new boutique. “King Kennedy is a constantly evolving project and gallery space and there is no plan for what we will carry or display, just a thread we are following, seeing where it takes us, and we hope our guests enjoy following along with us.”
Adorning the walls and windows of the space, King Kennedy's rugs originate from all corners of the globe, and one can find treasures from Turkey, Iran, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and North America’s Navajo tribes. Each rug tells a unique story of history and culture. King Kennedy seeks to make those stories as relevant as ever, offering them to a new generation to appreciate both in their original form and as re-purposed for garments that can be worn and used in everyday life.
The King Kennedy Gallery is located at 5022 Eagle Rock Boulevard, and is open Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 1pm – 6pm, or by appointment.