PEOPLEText: Kaya Sorhaindo

Serum vs. Venom was conceived as the antidote to the mass consumer culture that dominates the street wear market. Offering deliberate, meticulously researched and personally tailored items, SVSV is quietly taking over the ideal of luxury and what it means to our generation. Kaya Sorhaindo interviews Designer and Strategist David Gensler to introduce us to the KDU and it’s latest legacy, SVSV.

Tell us about the KDU.

The KDU (Keystone Design Union) is a global creative collective started in 2004 by Jason Bass and David Gensler. It has a dual purpose – first to create and manage a wide spectrum of brands for the global street culture market and secondly, to act as a private network of the worlds top creative and business minds. Sort of a collision of Procter & Gamble with the Free Masons.

Explain SVSV?

SVSV is a Street Luxury brand. We are offering the highestquality street wear on earth, designed for the most demanding individual consumer. We want to use the brand to help our generation pay more attention to the value of things. We want to challenge consumers who would pay $1000 for an “exclusive” limited edition sweat shirt or whatever to simply ask why… why is this worth $1000? Most of the time, upon very little investigation, you quickly realize that there is no good reason to justify the cost. We believe that quality has to drive the value, not merely brand imagery. Brands like Hermes and Armani have strong, well maintained brand images, but are ultimately driven by quality. Our generation needs similar brands created by our generation, not by older established brands looking to target younger demographics.

Why Street Luxury?

Street Culture is at the center of the global trend machine – art, design, fashion, literature, gaming, sports, cinema – almost all trends are now spun from the streets. The scale of the culture, connected by technology is greater than any generation that has come before so it’s impact is undeniable and unstoppable. As this generation matures, there are few brands that are meeting their needs. Most people can’t wear dripping graffiti logos or rainbow monkey camo to their day jobs. The culture needs a more elegant option. I am not saying that there is anything wrong with the traditional imagery that drives typical street culture, I am just saying that someone has to recognize and supply alternatives that meet the demands of the maturing market.

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