Ones to Watch – Kenya Smith

March 25, 2015

Planet Zero Motosports Nolcha Fashion Lounge

Planet Zero Motorspots at Nolcha Fashion Week: New York Fashion Lounge February 2015
Photo credit: Julie Stanley

This week we had the opportunity to catch up with Kenya Smith, the designer behind Planet Zero Motosports.  Kenya started Planet Zero Motorsports in 2009. The designs are based and inspired by motorcycle racing. Mr. Smith is an architect and Entrepreneur who loves motorcycle riding.

 

Planet Zero Motorsports’ vision is to blend high fashion with motorcycle apparel and to bend the line between safety and Haute Couture.

PlanetZeroWhat inspired you to become a fashion designer?  I have been a designer most of my career from architecture, photography, graphic art and now fashion. I use design on many levels to solve problems and challenges that I am presented with. I come from a very artistic family as well. My mother is a jewelry designer and artist and I have many family members that are artists to different degree. I have a degree in architecture from Howard University so I am a precision instrument of creativity.

In my case, I wanted to do clothing for motorcyclist because I am a motorcyclist. I wanted to have really cool looking gear and clothing. I found that the market place for this type of wear was extremely limited and had room for another type and brand.

How would you describe your brand?  Planet Zero Motorsports as a brand inspires confidence and a sense of strength. I’ve been told by women and men who have worn our clothes that PZM make them feel powerful and cool. PZM is a brand that captures the power and adventure of motorcycle riding characterized by the sense of speed and motion. It was created to protect the owner’s body and propel the soul.

My main driver is perfection to be iconic, revolutionary, or hopefully evolutionary.

No compromises no excuses. excellentia pro totus (excellence for all).

 

What challenges do you face being in the fashion industry?  Staying fresh and ahead of the game is always challenging. I think all designers have a signature look that is the center piece of their company that people look for and rely on, but how to re-introduce and find a new approach to that signature look season to season is the challenge. The goal is to always engage the public and simulate some sense of anticipation for you newest and most recent ideas.

 

Where do you find your inspiration from when creating your new collections?  My inspiration comes from many sources but i am really focused on motorcycles. It is the cornerstone of my company and it is what centers my designs and keeps it rational. Finding new ways for riders to look good is always fun and I enjoy the challenge.

 

Who is your biggest influence?  First my mom, she is a fantastic Jewelry designer and her clients love her. She pursued her dream, developed it, made it grow and gained respect for her work. What better influence is that?

My son, I want to leave something for him when I gone. I want him to be proud of his daddy. That is why I work so hard on this company. My wife for all the patience and support she has given on this journey.

Fashion Influence is Ralph Lauren because he was able to crystallize an idea of Americana and make it an entire fashion empire. I want to capture the feeling and attitude of motorcycle riding. The freedom and passion of riding and the open road.

 

 

What does 2015 hold for the brand?  2015 will be an interesting year. PZM will be entering the professional sports field for both motorcycle road track racing and Drag strip racing thru PZM sponsorship program. PZM will be providing the racing equipment for both riders. PZM is also considering other extreme sports platforms development more apparel. Snowboarding is the most likely target.

PZM is also going to Joint Venture on a new line of clothes for the fall with another designer for a whole new line. This work will still have the influence of the current line be will be completely different approach to both formal and sportswear.