A Conversation with Kit Keenan – The Fashion World’s New It Girl Everyone Should Know
When you first meet Kit Keenan, you are inclined to ask yourself, “What the hell was I doing at age 19?” and chances are, your answer will not compare to hers. Currently a sophomore at the University of Southern California studying film, Kit just launched her first capsule collection-based fashion line, KIT (Keep It Together), but don’t think for a second that this was her first creative venture. From teaching herself to sew at age 12 to managing her mom’s (Cynthia Rowley’s) showroom space while in high school, Kit has had the determination and passion to be a trailblazer from a very young age – and she is already well-underway.
We recently caught up with this young woman to REALLY get to know her and what you will realize, even if you aren’t lucky enough to have met her just yet, is that she is not only an inspiring self-discoverer, but also a woman who is undeniably turning the mentality that age is just a number into a reality. From the few times I have been able to hang out with Kit, and despite the fact that I am almost 10 years older than her (!), I find that there are qualities in her that I truly admire. She carries herself with a confident, kind, and self-assured nature (which is a sign of good parenting by her parents, Bill Powers and Cynthia Rowley), and is clearly someone who knows what she likes and seeks to understand that which she doesn’t. (Oh and by the way, the beauty can surf in HEELS - what guy wouldn’t fall in love with her?)
Continue reading to get to know our new favorite creative mind, Kit Keenan!
Tell us about your newly launch clothing line, KIT. How did the idea come about – what were/are some of your main sources of inspiration?
I launched my clothing line in June of this year. With each drop the brands aesthetic completely changes. Fast fashion has started to eat away at the industry in recent years because high end designer’s just cannot keep up with ever-changing trends. It’s important to challenge myself as a designer in figuring out what my audience wants because “timelessness” has become non-existent.
Can you tell us about the Skull Bunny? How did that symbol come together?
The Skull Bunny is an appropriated image from artist Richard Prince. Prince’s career is based on appropriation art and testing the limits of copyright. I thought why not steal from the thief himself?
You certainly come from a family of very influential and inspirational creatives, your mom being designer Cynthia Rowley and your dad Bill Powers being a gallerist. What are some of the biggest lessons you’ve learned from them?
I have learned a lot about business from my mom- she has been in the fashion industry since before I was born and started her company with nothing. I am so grateful to have someone to teach me the in’s and out’s of contracts, manufacturing, budgeting etc. My dad on the other hand, is a huge pep-talker… and would hate that I am saying this… but he gives more of the “tough love” “success is no accident” advice, which I definitely need sometimes.
You’re currently a sophomore at USC. Has being away from your home of NYC make you appreciate the city more? If so, in what way?
I think it’s important to move away from home at some point, wherever home is for you. Going to USC and living in LA is the most “college experience” I could probably handle, but New York will always be my favorite place in the world.
Aside from being a designer and a student, you are also very passionate about fitness and surfing. How do these passions fuel your creativity?
I have been surfing since I was 12 and my whole family surfs. That is our time to be together and just chillllllll because all of us have pretty packed schedules most of the time. It wasn’t until my senior year of highschool that I really started becoming interested in fitness, at this point in my life I feel like I have learned so much on my health journey and I love sharing it with others. If I didn’t have fitness in my life I think I would go crazy, I think of it as an act of self-care and meditation which allows me to fully channel myself into other endeavors like fashion or school.