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June 9, 2019

PERSONAL TOUCHES

Artist Kris Ammon on why luxury should be playful not precious.

Since launching KCA Design in 2017, Dallas-based artist Kris Ammon has carved out a niche with luxury lovers who don’t take themselves too seriously and prize personalization. From Louis Vuitton clutches to vintage Chanel, nothing is off limits. Ammon will emblazon it all with her hand-painted monograms and signature sketches, updating the classics for a new generation of handbag coveteurs.

We caught up with the artist to talk about her unconventional approach to product customization and why it’s time to make luxury a little less precious. — Nicole Jordan

Your work is proof that luxury can be fun. What do you love most about personalizing pieces for clients? 
I really love working with clients on what they want to see in a piece and then transforming it into their specific vision. I’m so humbled that clients trust me with such wonderful pieces—and I love that they’re open to making fashion fun and personal. I’m pretty easygoing in my work and don’t take myself too seriously. I don’t think life needs to be so rigid that you can’t put paint on a Chanel bag. It’s really as simple as that.

Are you experimenting with any new techniques or mediums? 
I’m actually focusing more on figure drawing and some new painting styles. I still do quite a bit of illustrating and I want to update my current menu of offerings. I don’t like to do the same things over and over.

What’s your favorite piece to have worked on?
It’s hard to pinpoint a favorite, but the most recent piece that got me jazzed was a “Give me Space” leather jacket that I did for DIFFA.

Has a client ever approached you with an idea that you weren’t sure about?
Absolutely. I find it best to be very honest and help find alternatives, if necessary. Once a piece is painted, there isn’t much room to go back and rework it. I like to get all my concerns and reservations out before we commence.

You introduced a collection of custom-embroidered pet sweaters last fall. What sparked that idea? 
I’m a huge pet lover. My bulldogs are essentially my children. I wanted to create something truly custom, where your actual pet—and not a breed standard image—is on something you carry or wear. I made my prototypes and people loved them!

What projects do you have on deck for 2019? 
This year, I’m very focused on quality over quantity. I’m limiting my events and projects to special alignments that make the sense for my brand. We launched a fun partnership with The Tot, where I’m personalizing made-to-order jackets and I have some exciting things in the works with a brand in SoHo that will be announced soon.

The Details: Custom monograms and sketches start at $200. Visit kcadesignco.com for more info.