When sisters Lisa and Jessica Kistermann launched Crime London in 2012, they set out on a mission to unite the worlds of streetwear and high-end fashion. Now that street style is a runway fixture and celebs like Alessandra Ambrosio, Sienna Miller, and Jamie Dornan are wearing the duo’s styles, it’s fair to say their mission has been an unmitigated success. But Crime London’s aspirations have always extended beyond trainers.
Crime London seeks to create experiences, with each store bringing with it a different theme and striking a different emotional chord. The result is that those looking to engage with the brand have a large number of multi-sensory ways to do so. In the label’s Ibiza store, for example, guests get a taste of the music and sun that brought the island its fame. In Crime London’s Milan showroom-loft, the craftsmanship undergirding the shoes’ success is emphasised, displaying each piece in a cleanly-designed upscale environment. To know more about the brand, its mission, and the latest collection, Schön! spoke with the sister team to get the full story.
You’ve said you started Crime London to bridge high-end fashion with streetwear. As those lines blur, what is Crime London’s place in this changing landscape?
It’s time for a detox from exaggeration. Let go of the concept ‘bigger is better’ and embrace ‘less is more’. In modern times, everything changes [and] evolves more rapidly. Progress is made by those that lead the way by expressing their creativity until it evolves into culture.
We always believed streetwear and high-end fashion can coexist. It’s a concept that we apply to our personal style. We love to blend and fuse the two cultures together. It’s all about bridging the gap.
What can you tell us about your new Spring/Summer 2020 ‘Unfiltered’ Collection?
It represents counterculture — the spirit of rebellion, spirit of youth, spirit of individuality. The rebel part of it is about changing into something better.
We introduced new silhouettes inspired by iconic designs of our youth; vintage basketball sneakers reinterpreted and reimagined with luxury materials, maintaining reasonable and affordable prices. The ‘OFF COURT Low Cut’ was one of this season’s best-sellers, which we are planning on expanding for our next collections.
You mention travel as an inspiration for much of your work. How does travel along with other influences find its way into the design process?
Traveling has always been one of the key elements of our inspirations, but now that it’s, unfortunately, more limited, we are focusing on “The Power of Now” — the importance of living in the present moment and transcending thoughts of the past or future.
We are taking this time to challenge fundamental assumptions that might no longer be relevant, looking back into archival pieces, history, heritage, etc. Trends come and go; we like things that are timeless with a story behind them. We pick and choose what relates to our style the most, [and] we never sweat if it’s outdated or ahead. With that said, we do stay informed. We keep ourselves current by researching, reading up on go-to blogs or sites, and more than anything staying surrounded by people who push the envelope and inspire us. For us though, it all comes from a very genuine place. It’s not about staying “ahead of the curve” because, at the end of the day, it will always come down to our personal choice over a trend.
In your mind, what does a Crime London wearer look like?
Unconventional, effortless street-chic, unapologetic, a style mix between streetwear and high-end fashion mixed with 90s hip-hop/R&B. It’s a balance of attitude versus style
You’ve said you want to be “more than a sneaker brand only”. What does that mean to you?
Explore beyond the product. Transmit the same creative vision but into spaces and places, like we did for our showroom-loft in Milan and Store in Ibiza. The interior design project was directed by us. With our passion for architecture and design, injecting entertainment and showmanship into spaces adds an extra dimension of liveliness to the location. Creating an ambience for an event is so much fun — all the attention to small details, light, music, lounges, etc.
What does the future have in store for Crime London?
Our journey towards becoming a more responsible brand with an honest sustainable approach. Last season, we launched a sneaker where each pair equaled three recycled plastic bottles. We previously had a capsule-collection of organic cotton t-shirts with environmentally-friendly dye, handmade in Bali. Also, really working on the representation of women in a male-dominated society, even more evident in the sneaker industry. I think many young women designers can relate to that.
photography. German Larkin during Frieze
Crime London Team
Daniel Bruno Grandl
LIVINCOOL Emanuele D’angelo
fashion. The Sisters
art direction. The Sisters