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If Rob Kardashian looks a little tired today, it's because he has been doing interviews all morning and recently flew in from a press event at Neiman Marcus in Miami. The reality TV star and newly-minted designer has been working hard to promote his brightly-colored sock line Arthur George, available exclusively at Neiman Marcus. Racked caught up with the male Kardashian today in Hollywood to discuss fashion, inspiration and, of course, socks.
You've said in past interviews that socks are "your passion." But how did you decide to turn that into a business? What made you choose socks versus, say, pocket squares?
"I'm very picky about my socks. I'm very particular about all the little details. Nowadays, all my friends and athletes that I know are very fashion-forward and into that. Normally I wear all black so for me, socks are a way to spice it up."
Before you settled on Arthur George, what other names did you consider and reject?
"Just Socks was one. Arthur George honestly [came] really quickly to me. I don't like to use my last name. I don't like it attached to things because people think you can just stamp your name on something and it's not organic or that you're just doing it for money. I would do this even if I wasn't on TV or in the limelight. I mean, I can't get away from my name—it is what it is. But at the end of the day, I don't want people to associate [Arthur George] with my sisters' brand.
I also liked Da Feeted. I mean, I liked the word "Undefeated" but obviously that's a store and a company."
What was the response from your friends and family when you started Arthur George?
"It's good. I mean, it's just starting but the response has been all positive. A lot of people love socks. I've already made so many changes in packaging and length that I'm eager for those to come out. It is my first project so I'm learning and it's trial-and-error, but it's doing well."
Fashion is a hard industry to break into. How did you go about it?
"I know this third-generation Armenian guy, his name's Jonathan, and it's his family business. I'm Armenien and there's a trust [level] in the Armenian community. He's my manufacturer and he's been in the business for so long. I learn from him. I have full control, though. I make sure to go to the factory, meet everybody, and to our warehouses here. I want to know what's going on. It's hard but it's good because it's what I want to do and it's my thing."
You've said you find inspiration for your prints everywhere. What were some recent inspirations?
"The wallpaper at the Beverly Hills Hotel, that was one of my first inspirations. I'm a big scarf person, and I like to frame scarves to hang [like] paintings. There are so many patterns that I'll try to translate to socks. It's tricky, though, because the machines you use to make the socks can't create certain patterns.
I'm also doing some collabs with artists. My friend, his name is Curtis Kulig, and he does all the "Love Me" tags. He's one of my good friends from New York. He loves dress socks and he is dying to do a collab. And a bunch of my friends own streetwear clothing companies that we are doing collabs with, like Hundreds and Diamond. It should be pretty fun."
Where do you see the company headed in the next five years?
"I don't want to compare myself to anyone else, but there's Paul Smith who I think does a great job. I feel like once I sort everything to the best quality, I'll be able to compete with them. I mean, there really aren't too many sock companies. Eventually there will be pajamas and probably handkerchiefs. You have to start small."
What are you favorite labels right now?
"I wear Givenchy, Balenciaga, Balmain, Lanvin and my friend started this company that's really dope, En Noir, his name is Rob [Garcia]. I'm also trying to lose weight so I can't go too crazy [with shopping], because I know I'm going to end up buying a bunch of stuff and I don't want to waste money. I'm the most casual guy ever, though. I wear sweats most of the time."
Who would you love to see wearing your socks?
"In a dream world, probably Karl Lagerfeld. That would be pretty cool. He probably doesn't wear socks, though. He's very Euro."
Do you gift Scott with socks, or does he have to buy them off the shelf like everyone else?
"[Laughs] I would probably make him buy them because he's so, he's so?how do you say this? [Racked: ridiculous?] He tends to not wear socks, though. I will definitely make him wear my socks, but I haven't given him any yet."
Can we expect to see you front row at Fashion Week in February?
"Yeah. I want to go to all the shows I can. Definitely. I really want to be there."
You can meet Rob in person on level one of Neiman Marcus Topanga as he introduces his collection this Thursday from 4 to 6pm.
· Arthur George by Rob Kardashian [Neiman Marcus]
· Rob Kardashian Doesn't Want K-Name Associated With His Socks [Racked]
· Rob Kardashian's Sock Line Arthur George Picked Up at Neimans [Racked]