Samuel Krost and Scott Camaran aren’t your average 25-year olds—and their namesake label, KROST, isn’t your average streetwear brand. Nearly one year after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, they’re partnering with March For Our Lives with an inaugural collection rooted in youth culture and camaraderie that will donate a portion of the proceeds to the charity. From start-to-finish the brand’s conception was full of genuine intent to “support your friends,” and not just in its inherent ties to an activist youth generation. The designs are laidback luxury—well-made, thoughtful pieces for “feminine” and “masculine” dressing at accessible price points, that we can actually afford. COOLS sat down with the duo behind the label to talk about inspiration, design process, and fashion’s need for more integrity.
Scott wears crew neck and cap by Krost.
On where the brand took its roots:
Sam Krost: “[I asked myself] how can I become involved with the youth who are going to be the leaders [of tomorrow] while also pursuing my passion for fashion. I knew Scott [Camaran], knew he was super talented across the board—from photography to design to video and creative direction. I needed somebody to help me get my thoughts down on paper, and we were literally in the classic startup story where we meet in a coffee shop and drew something on a napkin.”
Why they chose to partner with March For Our Lives:
SK: “[The] Parkland shooting and March For Our Lives was the biggest inspiration for our organization, of seeing youth come together, whether they knew each other or not; but coming together under this one belief. And once you come together in the masses and the numbers that’s really when you can make a change. March For Our Lives was, for me, the prime example for that happening.”
On the challenges of starting a new brand—let alone in seven months:
SK: “I wanted to do it right. I didn’t want to tiptoe my way in and I didn’t want to go buy blanks and screenprint ‘KROST’ or ‘Support Your Friends’ across it—I wanted to really show what we were capable of doing because we really divide and conquer. Scott and I—we compliment each other really well, in terms of our responsibilities and our roles. We all wore—and continue to wear—multiple hats, making mistakes along the way, learning along the way, and here we are. People always say it’s crazy, it’s insane. But we did it.”
How their tagline, ‘Support Your Friends’ has come full circle:
SK: “Support from friends and family has been really heartwarming. [We’re] using this slogan of ‘Support Your Friends’ which was a personal slogan of mine forever and trying to see how people can interpret it differently. People walking by [the pop-up] would see ‘Support Your Friends’ across the door. Even if they didn’t come in, they just popped their head in and said, “hey we fuck with your message.” That was awesome. It’s also a very surface level message, but there are so many different layers to it, and so many different directions that we can use that to spread positivity.”
On the importance of accessibility:
SK: “The biggest thing is being part of this story, so accessible price points and being a brand that is attainable are [both] super important to me. That’s the balance that Scott and I continue to butt heads over. Like this jacket costs a lot to make, but it’s $300. It’s a really nice jacket but I still want to hit a price point that people can be a part of. This idea of supporting our friends is also an idea for the brand to work with different collaborators in the future, to work with others that can help us create and break into product categories. So who can we work with that can help create these additional vehicles that will help push [our] story, and on the way continue to have a product that has a range of price points, so that if you’re not able to buy a $300 jacket there’s a 20$ hat?”
On the brand’s plans to evolve:
SK: “Hopefully what we build over these next few months is a core collection that will stay with us forever. Meanwhile, every collection introduces certain concept pieces. Like we have a lot of tailored pieces that we want to show what we can do and get a read on it in our retail in the press, etc. Then we take that concept piece and introduce it to the 2nd collection and then 2nd collection we’re introducing new concept pieces that maybe come out in the 3rd collection and that’s how I think that we’ll be able to scale the brand towards a more luxury aesthetic.”