Meet Keith Brown, the Under-the-Radar Fashion Designer You Should Know
The cool industrial-style door to Keith “Kebo” Brown’s apartment-slash-studio located on the 15th floor of a nondescript Makati building is indicative of the kind of individual who inhabits the four walls beyond it: creative and utterly unique. Stepping into Brown’s apartment is a refreshing change from the banal, taupe surroundings of the floor’s corridors.
Brown and his wife have been living in this hip apartment since February but they had previously lived in Manila from 2010-2013, before moving to Geneva. He says this apartment is only temporary, for they are moving into a house next year. Inside the abode, one is greeted by gray monochrome walls, cozy low furniture, and a jumpy French bulldog, making for an atmosphere that stimulates his creativity.
Brown recalls and appreciates his childhood in Texas, a time and place that stimulated his creative juices. “I’ve always been creative. I grew up in a place where your creativity was not something that made you different. I am very fortunate because my differences were presented as a uniqueness.”
Even as a child, Brown wasn’t afraid to dress as he pleased, often gravitating towards colorful prints—a trademark of his fashion designs today. He graduated from design school and eventually landed jobs in Marithe Francois Girbaud and Esprit de Corp, brands that taught him the ropes of the business side of fashion.
If his clothes (and his fun hairdo) aren’t enough to make him stand out from the crowd, there are the stellar business skills he has strengthened over the course of his career; however, we reckon that Brown’s entrepreneurship is something innate. He has a preternatural talent for sensing opportunities and responding to them acutely. And that applies to anything, not just fashion.
Brown fondly shares the story of the time he was a “cultural influencer” in his community. Hush Box was a newsletter he created when he had recognized the need to present the community’s coolest happenings at a glance. What was first an email sent to a couple of people grew into a full-fledged website. His knack for curating experiences is the essence of all the hats he wears.
“As an adult when I look back, I was engaging an audience. This helped me transition to be a business professional. It is one thing to be a creative and extremely talented and it's another thing to make a living out of your creativity. I figured that out early at age 17 and 18. I knew I wanted to make a career out of the creative space. What was I good at? I was good at furniture making, interior design, putting things together on me, and engaging things on people that they already have.”
True enough, Brown’s designs engage audiences who have a taste for the eccentric and the finer things in life (his clothes are of top-notch quality). His brand offers ready-to-wear, custom-made, and bespoke services. Interested customers or studio visitors will definitely find something that will pique their interest for his clothes have a whimsical charm to them.