designer q+a | slideshow | Kain Label summer 2011

words_dena rochelle

I’m a longtime devotee of luxe tees and was an early adopter of the t-shirt revolution that gave us super-soft fabrics in flattering silhouettes. Sisters Amanda and Melanie Kain earned a loyal following with their amazing take on the premium tee and now they’ve expanded their label to include incredible knits, chic skirts and dresses. Obviously I’m already smitten with the tees, so I have my eye on some of the spring/summer ’11 colors, and I’m also coveting the Sabine Maxi Skirt + some of those fabulous knits.

Without further ado, here’s what Amanda and Melanie have to say about their cool line… along with a slideshow featuring my faves from the summer 2011 look book:

Dena ~ How has the line evolved since your launch?

Amanda ~ “We started off with four t-shirt styles in black, heather grey and white —three of those are still in the line as our Classic Pocket Tee, Classic Pocket Tank and Classic V-Neck, and black, heather grey and white remain our top-selling colors. We began with basic styles in classic colors out of necessity, and quickly realized that was also our philosophy. That ethos still drives the collection today—even as it expands into full fashion knits, wovens, jersey and sophisticated silks and chiffon. Everything is simplicity, with classic lines and draping.

Dena ~ What are your personal faves from the collection that you wear frequently?

Amanda ~ “I can’t get enough of my Classic Pocket Tee! It truly does go with everything, anywhere.”

Melanie ~ “I love our rib styles from Spring ’11 so much—especially the Camille Tank and Deja Tunic—I have to force myself not to wear one every day. They’re so soft and in neutral colors so they’re perfect for layering.”

Dena ~ What are you wearing from the Summer 11 collex?

Amanda ~ “The Sabine Maxi Skirt is so easy to wear and very flattering. I have a large collection of vintage crochet tops and I always find myself pairing the maxi with one of these tops.”

Melanie ~ “The Dallas Maxi Dress is my go-to and I love the rope belt. I wear it with my cross-body Jerome Dreyfuss Twee bag and it makes me feel like I’m traveling light.”

[slideshow id=KainLabelSummer11 w=600 h=900]


Dena ~ What is your general design philosophy?

Amanda ~ “To make clothes that will stay in your closet for a long time, that you never tire of. Hopefully we reinforce that feeling each season so that you will be invested in each garment. You know it will be flattering and classic, and that’s comforting.”

Melanie ~ “To go along with what Amanda said, we strive to be the anti-trend. We always hope to be in style because we are very foundation-focused. We want our customers to put their unique spin on the clothes and how they wear them, and that would be impossible if the clothes dictated a specific style.”

Dena ~ How do you stand out from the crowd of contemporary brands that focus on luxe tees + knits?

Amanda ~ “I try to focus on how the tees and knits will drape on the body. I think they all have that perfect drape—not too oversized and not too tight.”

Melanie ~ “I find a lot of contemporary tee lines either get a color right, or have a nice cut, or a soft fabric but we really try to hit every note. We’re not a cotton tee, we’re not a body-conscious silhouette, we don’t do super-saturated colors and that right there separates us from a lot of tee lines. That being said, I just bought a white James Perse cotton tank, and I appreciate what he does!”

Dena ~ What other brands/designers do you like to mix with your own?

Amanda ~ “I’m strictly vintage! I mix everything Kain Label with vintage.”

P.S. Score some Kain spring collex tanks ON SALE at, as well as some other amazing pieces at

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