Kendel is an incredible woman, entrepreneur, and designer. In a class by itself, she creates couture performance apparel collections with superior fit, fashion, function & flexibility for equestrians, fitness & lifestyle enthusiasts. I’m excited to share more about this amazingly talented designer…
Where are you from and what inspired you to start F.Words Gear?
I grew up in Connecticut, and moved to NYC in 1999 to pursue my dream of being a couture fashion designer.
F.WORDS was born out of my own experience. I was excited to shop for ski apparel but couldn’t find anything that could cross over from cocktail parties to the slopes to the barn. And was versatile both in the design and functionality to merge all of these endeavors, to have one garment do it all. So we could consume less but have more.
What was the first piece you took to market and what is your favorite piece so far?
F.WORDS collection is inspired from French & Japanese attitudes. Feminine with an edge. The idea of formality with informality. Creating sculpture with rich texture and dimension. Our color palette which is quite signature to me, employs practicality through a dependable and contemporary lens with pops of rose gold throughout. Timeless and seasonless. The idea was to create something which would be difficult to place in time and can be worn forever.
My current favorite piece, the one I wear most often now, is the funKtion jacket. It’s composed of powerful unexpected design elements, mixing classic materials in unexpected executions which results in an unrestrained luxury staple. Viola, the new must have bomber, c’est tres mignon!
What has been your biggest learning thus far?
As a self funded, female owned and operated small business in a competitive market, there are so many road blocks that will try to deter you. If you really want to do this you have to just continue pushing forward, one foot in front of the other, despite the number of challenges or people telling you you cannot. You must be willing to sacrifice in all aspects of your life in order to make that happen. This is a continual lesson. It doesn’t end. You’re never out of the trenches, you’re just on to the next. ‘Keep working, no one ever drowned in sweat.’ That’s my entrepreneurial mantra.
When choosing fabrics what is your number one suggestion for new designers?
Create a merchandising plan and develop a fabric which will become your core, your bread and butter. Push the envelope, but stay within plan. Less can be more, and never sacrifice quality.
What inspires you outside of the office?
Mountains and nature. I love to be reminded that I’m just a piece of the puzzle of the universe. Nothing does that better for me than when I’m physically reminded how tiny I am up against a majestic mountain. The same happens for me everyday walking my dog Alaia. NYC towers over me, and it keeps me on my toes. It constantly reminds me it could be worse, and it could be better, and I’m not alone. I’m just as
inspired by NYC’s architecture and the vast amount of change which happens every day here as I was twenty years ago when I first moved here.
Are you able to share a sneak peak or idea of the next piece launching with F.Words Gear?
We exist to elevate active peoples’ lives with comfort and elite design. The greatest accomplishment this year would be to serve as many customers we can to further our mission.
We are adding new colors to our best selling items, in blush and red. Also, be on the lookout for a really special moto jacket in the pipeline as well. It’ll be functional and haute, as is the rest of our collection.
We are actually currently working on our first couture wedding gown for a very special client in authentic Lyon french lace and layers upon layers of silk fringe. We come from a place of yes, we very rarely say no. We try to make all things possible, it’s what our luxe, beau monde client is used to. You just never know what we have up our sleeve next!