Q&A | Kendall Conrad

To understand Kendall Conrad, you must smash together two Tomboy Style archetypes: The Naturalist and The Sophisticate. While these are perhaps the most unlikely of pairs, it becomes a stunning combination when helmed by California-born accessories designer Kendall Conrad. Her bags, wallets, shoes (coming soon!) and jewelry toggle between the sleek and refined, and the organic and down-to-earth, without ever losing their purpose or style.
We met last week at her Abbott Kinney storefront in Venice (you can also find her at the Brentwood Country Mart) and talked business, fashion, architecture and books over lunch at Axe. It's hard to put your finger on Kendall Conrad, all I can say is she is the only person I know that can wear all black and manage to look nothing but breezy and beachy. I'll let her Q&A do the talking from here. P.S. Kendall has a really great Tumblr. Seriously: check it out.

If not in Santa Barbara, I would live in...Venice Beach again.

My dream holiday would be to...North Africa: Marrakech, Chefchaouen, the blue town in the Rif Mountains, Essaouira and The Siwa Oasis.
My current obsessions are...

Food: Shitake mushrooms slowly sauteed in butter and thyme.

Music: Always 70's Bowie and The Talking Heads, loving Tame Impala right now, also Passion Pit, Alabama Shakes, The Black Keys, Wardell, Tristesse Contemporaine, Flying Lotus, Nicolas Jaar.

Fashion: I'm not super fashiony. I like classics: A.P.C., Saint Laurent Paris, and Chance.

Retail Stores: I like small stores with a tight edit. Des Kohan in Los Angeles and Ann Mashburn in Atlanta.

I channel my childhood self when I...Boogie Board with my kids.

The literary character I most relate to is...Karen Blixen from Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen (a.k.a. Karen Blixen).

If I had to be outdoors all day I would...be at the beach at Rincon Point in Santa Barbara or on one of the Channel Islands.

My favorite quality in a man is...intelligence and a sense of humour. I married my husband because he made me laugh all the time.
My favorite quality in a woman is...kindness and loyalty.

I'm terrified of...sharks!

My dream car is a...1970 silver Citroën SM.
Photo by Robert Myrene.

My cocktail of choice is...Ruinart Brut Rosé champagne.

My celebrity crush is...my husband!

My beauty product of choice is...Jojoba oil.

My friends and I like to...go for beach walks with our dogs and have summer creek-side dinners at our house.

If I could go back in time for one decade it would be...the 70's. But I would rather jump forward to 3000!

As a teenager I was totally into...horseback riding, skateboarding and surfing, volleyball, wearing men's button-down Brooks Brother's shirts, Levi's cords, and New Republic's black loafers.

I tend to splurge on...produce at the farmer's market, I buy like a restaurant!

The fact that I only wear uniforms (I really don't like to think about what I am going to wear so I have winter and summer staples)...is what makes me have Tomboy Style.


Anonymous said…
Karen Blixen and Isak Dinesen is the same person! It was Karen Blixen´s alias.
Lizzie said…
Thanks for your note. I added in a parenthetical to Kendall's line for clarity.
Once Was a Girl said…
K.C. has an amazing eye -simple yet strong silhouettes
and I love the phrase "smash" - there is new book content to mine there.
Erin said…
Love her and love these q&a posts. I would really like to know what her "uniform" for each season includes! She clearly has impeccable taste and an eye for quality.
Lizzie said…
@Erin: Kendall actually included this info in her Q&A and I cut it at the last minute for space. Here's what she said:

"summer is: linen shift i had made in 5 neutral colors and my cincha sandals. winter is: cashmere v-necks, goldsign jeans, a tailored blazer by the row, a big cashmere scarf and riding boots."
Anonymous said…
I am such a sucker for mysterious brunettes ...
thebenm@mac.com said…
My great uncle Sid got super Texas rich in the oil business, but in the 1930s he was a geologist poking around in Africa, looking for whatever.

On the way home, he was on a tramp steamer with Baroness Blixen - she had to leave Africa because of the Depression, not because of a fire at her coffee plant.

Uncle Sid published a book of letters he wrote to his mother while he was in Africa. He said the Baroness was a bad poker player.

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