Narrating Social Change through Fashion with Sam Krost
Narrating Social Change through Fashion with Sam Krost
Sam Krost, the mastermind behind the clothing brand Krost, is creating his own narrative in fashion by sending a message on social change and community through minimal and thought out garments.
Resembling a deep influence to youth culture, Krost’s releases are defined through “semesters”. For the inaugural collection titled “First Semester” , the brand’s focus embodied the activism on gun violence and partnered up with March For Our Lives to send this message beyond making clothes. As the line continues to grow, each “semester” plans to shed light on various social issues and coming-of-age themes. Following semesters concepts included “Supporting Your Friends” centered on pushing the boundaries towards inclusivity and friendship, and “Eden” that themes climate change.
Tell us a little about yourself and an intro what you do?
My name is Samuel Krost and I’m 26 years old. I grew up in small suburb in New Jersey and have been an athlete my entire life – I grew up skating, surfing, playing basketball, baseball and football but have always had an affinity towards luxury fashion. I attended NYU and graduated in 2015. During my time at NYU I worked within the fashion space with the goal of educating myself within each department of the industry, having known my dream was to one day launch my own label.
What was your inspiration behind “Support Your Friends”?
Support Your Friends had always been a personal slogan of mine growing up. Family & Friendship have always been the cornerstones of my life, while I always felt fortunate to have had the desire to help those around me in any capacity possible. However, on February 14th 2018 a mass shooting took place in Parkland, FL. Immediately after and amidst this terrible tragedy, an organization called March for Our Lives was created and I believed this organization to be the perfect embodiment of the slogan. At that time, my personal slogan took on an entirely new meaning for me personally. We may not have the opportunity to meet everyone across the world, but we do have the opportunity to support one another based on what we believe in and what we stand for as one people. For me personally, this is the inspiration behind the slogan – support those you know, and those you may never meet.
Fashion and some “streetwear”brands try to go for the dark, grunge, and “cool” vibe but you take yours to a different level. Why was it that you center the brand on this positive notion of a support system?
In one interview I was asked to describe our brand in three words. I quickly responded with: inclusivity, inclusivity, inclusivity. I wanted to create a brand for ALL – but most importantly – our brand and every collection/product we release is inspired by what’s happening in the world around us. Our brand’s story was conceptualized after the mass shooting that took place in Parkland, FL with the goal of increasing awareness around gun reform. Our latest collection’s goal is to increase awareness around climate change. It’s with this inspiration that we hope to bring the masses together to create tangible change.
What were some small stepping stones that helped you shape what the brand is today?
I have to give all the credit to the people I was fortunate enough to surround myself with. There is no chance I would have been able to build the brand equity and awareness that we have in our first year without these specific individuals. From my family, to friends within the industry, to the mentors I have had since the beginning of college and to the brand’s team that believed in my vision and purpose behind this brand.
How did you find yourself immersed in fashion?
I had always been a fashion lover and obsessed with the way people present themselves through the clothing they wear. I majored in business during my time at NYU and worked all four years within the fashion industry. I was fortunate enough to find opportunities that allowed me to gain experience in all departments of the industry from design, production, sales, logistics & operations. It was my personal goal to gain enough knowledge within these departments knowing I’ve always had the dream of one day launching my own label.
Have you ever ran a brand before this? What were some difficulties you faced?
This is the first venture I have founded myself. I always use the analogy of a rollercoaster – we have incredibly fun days, scary days and other ups & downs. It’s a matter of being able to keep a level head – take a deep breath and tackle each issue as they come, while never letting any one problem deter you from executing on your vision.
What does community mean to you and how do you wish to shape yours?
I grew up in small tight-knit community that was divided between a small town in New Jersey & Brooklyn, New York. Since the day I was born, this community and its leaders have instilled in me the notion of giving back and being there for each other no matter the circumstance. The amount of charity and organizations created by individuals from the community I was raised in inspire me and everything I do. It’s the basis of the slogan Support Your Friends that I preached growing up and is now the basis of my first company.
There’s a lot of division between people regarding numerous factors. What do you wish to change to make the world a little bit better of a place and community?
We were all born into circumstances beyond our control and because of this, I’d wish for people to really try and be more accepting and more forgiving of one another. As I said, to support one another whether you have the opportunity to meet that person or not. I used to be of the belief that it was the 1% of people who are wealthy that will be successful in bringing about change – but what I’ve quickly learned as I have become more aware of my surroundings and circumstances of the world is that if you’re successful in bringing the masses together, this is when real change can occur.
Any dream organizations you’d like to team up with to spread your message?
I’ve always dreamt of working with UNICEF and being part of their grassroot missions. I’d like to challenge myself this year to not only advocate for specific charities but to really get my hands dirty with more physical action.
What’s next for you and the brand?
We’re incredibly excited about 2020. We’ll have our first few official collaborations releasing closer to the summertime but I think what’s great about this brand is that the vision does not end with apparel. We’re excited to begin working on products outside of the fashion & apparel space.