French designer Kevork Kiledjian can trace his love of fashion back to a red leather jacket belonging to his sister. "She was strong, cool and beautiful in it," he says. "She was the coolest woman on Earth, trust me. Of course, I wanted the same jacket [and] I had one in blue a little later. I was maybe eight years old."
Kiledjian's devotion to street wear staples like that perfect motorcycle jacket eventually yielded his debut line, Triiad, which garnered a huge following in the '90s.
"Then, I came back to my roots somehow," explains Kiledjian, whose father worked as a Lanvin couturier. "[I returned to] the other half of my culture, which is luxury and contemporary design. I was really looking for a new challenge, a creative place where I could grow old, making women beautiful and desirable."
Now based out of New York City, Kiledjian's new eponymous collection strikes a perfect balance between luxury and street wear, with rugged leather pieces tossed over beaded ball gowns, cheeky leopard pants paired with trim blazers, and daringly tight mini-dresses.
"Designing is like a puzzle you build during months," says the designer, who cites photography greats like Helmut Newton and Guy Bourdain as inspiration. "The most difficult thing is to keep the original idea alive."