Perhaps it was our mutual obsession with fashion and art, or maybe it was our fanaticism over music, or animals, or jewelry, that made me instantaneously love Kristi King when I first got to know her as a Goldyn customer. Kristi would walk in the door, and all of us would end up chatting about this or that band, this or that designer, and before you knew it we were going to concerts, and a friendship had evolved. Kristi is also the kind of woman with a strong, tough exterior and an incredibly soft, warm interior which, once you break through to, makes you only want to continue getting to know her more. She’s a fashionphile in the best sense, an urban cowgirl of sorts, and also an incredibly kind, thoughtful, generous soul. Her creativity and artistry come through not only in her graphic design work, but also just in the way she dresses and carries herself. She pulls off some pretty wild, fashion-forward ensembles in a city where not too many people have the gall to do so, with ease and elegance. We were lucky enough to catch up with this spunky woman in her home, and learn a little more about what makes her tick. Read on below to learn what we discovered.
Goldyn: What do you do for a living? How does that influence your style?
Kristi: I’m a graphic designer that specializes primarily in print-related collateral materials. I’ve been doing this for 25 years & no, I don’t have a web site. My passion is print. Even though I’m generally in work-out gear or yoga pants while I’m working (I work from home), I am OBSESSED with fashion. I think fashion has such a huge influence on art, music, design, interiors, basically EVERYTHING. I have had a subscription to Vogue since I was 14 & continue to subscribe to Vogue & way too many others to mention or keep track of (I happily recycle these to a budding teenage fashionista/seamstress who keeps her favorite images organized by categories in scrapbooks). The postman hates me especially when the September issues arrive. These magazines and all my fashion books are bibles to me. Type, layouts, logos, colors, printing bells & whistles bring out the real design geek in me.
Goldyn: How would you define your style in a nutshell?
Kristi: Hmmm, I think a little bit eclectic that has evolved into more classic with the eclectic part transforming into a beloved collection of jewelry. As I get older, I would prefer to spend money on classic pieces as far as clothing is concerned (fewer pieces), and have found that more classic clothing ends up being a canvas for incredible jewelry. At Goldyn, I’ve been fortunate to discover The Woods. I have a few of these pieces & seriously every time I come into the store & see these pieces, I just never get tired of looking at them (and wanting every piece)! And honestly – I think [they’ve got] some really good bang for the buck. I’ve also been impressed with Goldyn’s edited vintage pieces that are not on separate racks, but interspersed through the store validating their timelessness. That’s why I wanted to wear this suede fringed vest. I could find this vest new with the nod to the 70’s trend going on right now for A LOT MORE bank. After seeing the IRIS [Apfel] documentary last week, I’m sorry we didn’t add MORE jewelry, cause that’s exactly how I hope my style evolves. I’m working on it. I know Iris would love this fringed vest, The Woods and of course Goldyn.
Goldyn: What would you say has been your favorite project that you’ve worked on in the past?
Kristi: Well thanks to one of my biggest & best clients (VISIT DENVER) – I was really fortunate to get to work on all the Democratic National Convention credentials. It got real when I customized the credentials for some VIP’s. I was able to press check in Tennessee with a top secret printer because everyone of these credentials had to have a custom security feature. And I took advantage of taking 2 extra days to drive to Memphis & go to Graceland, Sun Records & the National Civil Rights Museum. All eye-openers & 3 places that should be a must-see for everyone. This was a once-in-a-lifetime kind of project. My husband & I also received some really sweet VIP passes to almost every event. My VERY FAVORITE pieces however are the yearly (well almost) cards I do as a promo for my business & my beloved Scottie dogs that I’ve had throughout the years. I’ve had 3 Scottish Terriers who are like walking cartoon characters & they have always been my very best friends. I would take a bullet for them. So I created these cards that have been over-the-top to showcase my boys (MAX, Tiny Elvis & now Hank Williams or H.W as I like to call him) and their crazy personalities. With the added assistance of AWESOME local talent – Patrick Merewether, Gary Isaacs, & Kristin Adams. I refer to these projects as “Loving Hands at Home”. They can be extremely time intensive. And thank God I married an engineer, cause there have been times when we’ve had to figure out how to make these puppies work. I always say it’s my last year to do these. And then I always reconsider.
Goldyn: I know you’re an animal lover, and specifically an equestrienne… how did you get into that, and how do you incorporate it into your day-to-day life?
Kristi: Well, saying that I’m an equestrienne – almost makes me laugh – cause I’m not. I started taking classes 2 years ago after riding in the Westernaires adult program offered on Wednesday evenings during the winter months. I take private lessons out in Broomfield with an awesome woman named Ariel who runs a company called Urban Cowgirlz. I have learned & embraced that being on that horse is the most ultimate sense of accomplishment & the most Zen feeling that I’ve ever had in my life. This summer, I plan on perfecting my riding skills (Western – not English) cause Ariel is leasing one of her horses to me! Pretty excited about that. Riding gives me the opportunity to forget about everything else. Maybe what you’re supposed to do in yoga – I could never do that. But when I’m on a 1,000 lb. plus animal & he’s relying on my confidence for commands & trusting me for guidance, well trust me, my mind is on nothing else. It’s truly been life changing and a confidence booster. Watching the movie “Buck” was the catalyst for this life changing sport for me. I think his general take on life is an inspiration. You fall, get bucked off, you get back up again & figure out what to do differently. Learning from unfortunate incidents (his were kind of awful) only makes you stronger and a better person. And damn, what’s not great about cowboy gear? I’ve always collected cowboy boots & now I’ve learned from experience that form follows function. I do love me a good equestrian look too.
Goldyn: If you could be anyone at any time, who would your fantasy self be (famous or just made up!) and what would she be doing?
Kristi: I have thought about this question since you sent this to me. And I’ve dwelled on this for a long time. I’ve always said that in my next life – please let me be Kate Moss. I want to know what it feels like to be a “super-waif”. Something I will NEVER experience in this life that’s for sure. I have so many icons that will always be an inspiration – Yves Saint Laurent, Joey Ramone, Betty Catroux, Mick Jagger, Elvis, Helmut Newton, Frida Kahlo, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Kurt Cobain, Anita Pallenberg, Marianne Faithfull, Nick Cave, Jenny Lawson, Andy Warhol, Edie Sedgwick, Carrine Roitfeld…. OMG, I could go on forever. Bottom line is that I would never want to be them cause the majority of these amazing folks have gone to a very dark place to be who they are or were. I refuse to go down that rabbit hole. I have so many amazing friends and family & a husband who have contributed to the EXACT fantasy self I want to be. Ok, let me just be Mick Jagger singing Sympathy for the Devil in a sold out stadium in tiny little bell-bottoms & scarf with those lips & hair that’s never seen a bad hair day. Just for one song, getting in a limo with screaming fans & then back to me.
Goldyn: What do you love about your home?
Kristi: Ha! Everything. I love that I live in suburbia & when someone walks in here – it kind of floors them. It’s certainly not a typical home on the inside. I’ve always identified with Alice in Wonderland. Alice has always been my inspiration. My house is my rabbit hole. It’s dark, weird & funny. I’ve collected so much art through travels, various art galleries, and I even incorporate my jewelry & shoes as pieces of displayed art. This essentially is our home & gallery. And I love it. My husband Ace agreed that when we got married, he owns the garage, the house is mine. It sealed the deal. I married him. He built me a custom closet that’s ALL mine. I’ve also found that as I get older, this is my safe happy place. I love this house.
Goldyn: Any words for girls growing up today about style?
Kristi: YEP. Invest in awesome sunglasses. They can be turned into prescription glasses. And don’t forget your sun block. Ice cream is your friend. Laugh as much as you possibly can. And shop at Goldyn. Not only have I bought some awesome things here, I’ve made friends for life. The friend part is the most valuable.