Glass speaks to Kailand Morris about finding his feet in the fashion industry and his brand House of KOM

BORN to parents whose names echo down the hall of fame, it might have been hard to forge your own direction. However Kailand Morris, the son of designer Kai Millard Morris and music legend Stevie Wonder, is already making a name for himself in his own right. At the tender age of 19, he has become a regular front-row attendee during menswear fashion week, a runway model and founder and creative director of the House of KOM label.

Kailand Morris Issue 43Kailand Morris. Photograph: Renee Parkhurst

It should come as no surprise that a childhood steeped in the arts shaped the person Morris is today. “Being who my parents are had a huge input for me as to why I do what I do and having such an interest in the field of art as a whole – not just fashion design and not just music,” he says. “At a young age, I was influenced by some of the stuff my dad and my mum did, like the performing and the fashion shows. So I really started to soak in as much as I could.”

For him, music and fashion were linked worlds: “When I was younger, I saw people I liked perform, but I never loved the clothes that they wore,” he explains.  “I am not saying the clothes were bad, but the clothes didn’t speak the same message that their music did. I think that was the first time seeing this huge connection that these two things really co-existed and flowed together.”

Kailand morris issue 43
Kailand Morris. Photograph: Renee Parkhurst

The perception moulded him into someone with a multi-faceted approach to his career, although he further cites Virgil Abloh as a “huge inspiration” of his – not just design-wise but also musically. Known to join his father up on stage and play the drums, and having recently taught himself how to DJ, it is evident that Morris is showing the beginnings of what it means to be a modern creative.

His Instagram can be compared to a magazine editorial, making any fashion nerd envious as he poses wearing pieces such as a Jacquemus jumper, Wales Bonner jacket and a pair of the much sought-after Air Jordan 1 High OG Dior.

Kailand morris issue 43
Kailand Morris. Photograph: Renee Parkhurst

Being so young, I ask how he developed such a knowledgeable and mature style: “I find the inspiration of what I wear through architecture. I love architecture, architectural design and furniture. If I see a sofa, I can take that sofa and picture it in my mind and reassemble my outfit around it, if that makes sense. My mind has a very interesting way of relating things artistically.” The unique way he draws together his surroundings to create different versions of himself illustrates how the next generation are looking outside the constraints of the norm.

Together with being photographed front row of fashion shows looking effortlessly cool, the teenager is no stranger to walking down the runway, his debut being the opening model at the Dolce & Gabbana SS19 show – no small feat. However, Morris is particularly fond of when he walked the Pyer Moss show, “Kerby [Jean Raymond] is such a talented designer,” he states appreciatively.

“He has such a powerful message that I personally, as a young black man growing up in this country, can relate with. To me that runway show was more than a runway show. It was an experience. It was a message. It was so many emotions that I have had and I have faced in the past and am currently facing, [which] I just related to when it came to that show. That was a very special one.”

Kailand morris issue 43
Kailand Morris. Photograph: Renee Parkhurst

It’s pretty clear that fashion is second nature to him, something innate. However, a few years ago, keen to learn more, Morris undertook an internship at Dior where he worked under the leadership of menswear creative director Kim Jones. Initially nervous, he was immersed into an inspiring world of precision and professionalism while surrounded by a team that were “super joyful, laughing and joking and having a good time”.

A particular highlight for him was when Jones called him over and asked for his opinion on a piece. After he told the designer what he would change, the changes were made and everyone ended up liking it. “It made my day,” remembers Morris fondly.

Fast forward to the present, Morris will soon be launching his first capsule collection for his brand, House of KOM. Speaking to me from his neatly arranged office space via screen-link, he tells me organisation is key, a trait he learned during his time at Dior.

Kailand morris issue 43
Kailand Morris. Photograph: Renee Parkhurst

So what can we expect from his label?  “I would just say people can expect some revolutionary, never seen before ways of creating in terms of fashion design,” he declares. “One of the backbones of House of KOM is that everything we create fabric-wise, from a bag to a shirt, is all 100 per cent sustainable, re-usable, recycled fabrics.

“People think if you are using a recycled fabric, it is not going to have the same quality and not feel like high-end luxury, but you would really be surprised!”

Kailand morris issue 43
Kailand Morris. Photograph: Renee Parkhurst

Although he is positioning himself as an individual force of change, Morris understands that the future requires togetherness. Referring to racial injustice and the global pandemic we are living through, he says, “These are issues that not one person can fix or two, not a hundred thousand nor even a million – all of us need to come together and resolve these issues.”

From hanging out backstage at his mum’s show during New York Fashion Week to walking the runway himself and interning at Dior, Morris is shaping up to be the next face of fashion. If that is the case, then the future of fashion is in good hands.

by Imogen Clark

All clothing and accessories from the Dior Winter 2020 Men’s Collection





















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