Haute shades: Interview with Khristian Michael of the Forever K. Michael Collection

Khristian Michael modeling Mack Jr. sunglasses

Khristian Michael has a career rooted in music but always known for his own swagger.  Capitalizing on his own sense of style and the good name he has built for himself in the music industry, Khristian is launching is own line of high-end designer eyewear called the Forever K. Michael Collection.  He has partnered with NYS Collection (www.nyscollection.com), already known for their exquisite sunglasses that they manufacture and distribute in NYS Collection kiosks found at malls all over the US, to launch his collection in Spring 2010.  Forever K. Michael sunglasses will also be available for purchase on the web at www.foreverkmichael.com.  The precise launch date will be released soon, likely over the next couple of months, so be sure to keep visiting me at ifelicious.com and as well as www.foreverkmichael for the latest updates.

Last week, Khristian and I caught up by phone.  Sporting a strong NYC accent, confidence, and marketing savvy, I have no doubt that Forever K. Michael will soon be a household name in high-end designer eyewear.  Here’s the interview:

Ifelicious: Tell me a bit about yourself.

Khristian: I have a line of designer eyewear called Forever K. Michael Collection. I have a background in music. I started off working for A&R Records with Xrecords and doing promotions and shows, and that’s pretty much how the name Khristian Michael got a buzz or reputation in the industry, and I just used that as a platform to put a product on the name and image.

Ifelicious: How exactly did you get started?

Khristian: I remember talking to a friend of mine, a radio personality, about my future and where does he see me going in life. I had lost my father, and I know that I wanted to put a product behind my name. I loved shades. I had a passion for shades, and I just decided, ‘Ya, I’m going to do that.’…and literally, I started from scratch. I started researching on how to design shades, how I could manufacture shades, and how I could get it distributed. So, it all just came from me having an ambition and putting a product behind the name.

Ifelicious: Where did you grow up? I’m wondering if music had a big influence on your life growing up as well.

Khristian: My father, he served the country 20 years in the military, so I traveled around the world, and I’ve seen a lot..Even though I grew up in the military, I spent most of my life in New York.

Ifelicious: Would you say you’re targeting the urban section of the market?

Khristian: I know it would look that way, but I’d say that, at this point, most of my influences have been in hip hop…[however] I want it to be for everybody, from Moscow to New York, from New York to Nebraska, from Nebraska to New Mexico.

Ifelicious: When I read about your From Day Till Dark collection, are you telling me that you don’t have to be a celeb to wear your sunglasses at night?

Khristian: (laughs) No, you don’t have to be a celeb. It’s for ordinary stardom. K. Michael is just an ordinary guy who just had a premonition and wanted to succeed and dream.

Ifelicious: What’s your price point, and how do people get access to your collection?

Khristian: The price point is $80 and up, I believe. You can access it online on ForeverKMichael.com…It will be in the high end malls- Pentagon City, Tyson’s Corner…My distributor, NYS…they do the kiosks in the middle of the mall…NYS is one of the leading retailers in the sunglass industry…K. Michael will be in select malls because we’re trying to compete on the high end level with the Michael Kors, the Gucci, Prada, Fendi, Salvatore. That’s our goal.

Ifelicious: I noticed that you have a model search going on, but I also noticed there was a fee so you have to tell me what’s going on with that. Wassup? 25 dollars? If I’m pretty, I don’t have to pay you. (laughs)

Khristian: That’s funny. You’re funny. In the model search there are things that K. Michael has to pay for, and it’s not even about making money. 25 dollars, that’s really nothing for putting together a mall tour, point of purchase displays, you’re putting them in over in I don’t know how many locations- the Mall of Dubai, Moscow, high end malls in California, New York City, and I’m giving them a photo shoot, flying them into New York. It’s really a processing fee, registration fee.

Ifelicious: Is there going to be a single winner or are you going to pick several people?

Khristian: We’re going to pick several people in different markets, and then we’re going to pick the top 10, and then choose one winner, and that one winner will get the grand prize.

Ifelicious: How do you stay on top of the latest trends in eyewear?

Khristian: The people. The people will let you know what’s hot and what’s not…then it’s your own taste, your own swagger. It’s like music. Everything has been created and done. Every artist has been inspired by somebody according to what sound he has. Forever K. Michael is inspired by other designers, other people, other trends. It’s about taking it, reinventing it, putting your own flavor and color on it, and then making it a reality.

Ifelicious: What’s hot for the summer?

Khristian: For the summer? The hottest trend? I think it’s the wafers. I’m surprised they’ve lasted so long.

Mack Jrs.

Ifelicious: Tell me about what we expect to see from your collection.

Khristian: We’ll have 3 different styles. We’re taking our time to brand. We didn’t want to come out with a bunch of different ones at one time. We’re coming out with 3 different styles, 7 different colors. They’ll all be unisex glasses. I’m a big fan of the aviator…Most of the things we’re going to come out with are things that you can wear to the club and to the fashion show or to the beach. A universal style.

Thanks to Khristian Michael for a wonderful interview. Good luck to ya, and I’ll be keeping my eye (no pun intended) on your certain success. Also, thank you Sophisticated PR for arranging this interview.

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