We originally met Sam Krost in July of 2018, at which point he took us through his vision for a brand that would inclusively tackle important issues that plague society such as climate change and social inequality. We kept in touch, watching closely as he transformed his vision into a reality with an incredible following, brand awareness and global appeal. Given the platform and foundations that Sam has built, along with his own drive and determination, we feel there’s the opportunity for the brand to grow into something truly powerful.
With that in mind, we were delighted to invest in KROST through AUFI VENTURES earlier this year, and look forward to being a part of its growth for years to come. We checked in with Sam to share more about his journey so far and his vision for the future.
- Toby WilkinsonWhere did your vision for KROST come from?
Samuel KrostThe brand story was conceptualized after a mass shooting that took place in Parkland, FL in February of 2018. An organization named March for Our Lives was formed almost immediately and was our leading inspiration in creating a brand that was mission and purpose-driven. Our goal is to increase awareness surrounding different issues that are plaguing society by partnering with leading non-profit organizations, such as March of Our Lives. We tell the stories of these causes through the products we design and create. It’s our belief that real and tangible change is created when people stand together, accept one another and support each other.
- TWHas it been challenging to stay true to your vision as KROST has grown?
SKWith a brand story that is so deeply rooted in our mission and purpose, we have been fortunate to use this in every decision we make. So, regardless of how fast we grow we will never stray from our brand’s mission.
- TWWhat advice would you give to someone looking to take a brand from idea to reality?
SKDo not be afraid to make mistakes or admit you “don’t know” the answer. Surround yourself with the right people and never be afraid to ask questions.
- TWYou work with such a varied set of non-profit organisations that are tackling such important causes, what criteria do you use for selecting who you’d like to partner with?
SKThere are different software’s and partnerships the brand uses to verify the legitimacy of all our non-profit partners. Ultimately, we search for the organization we believe is leading the charge and tackling the issue we aim to raise awareness for. We want to ensure the brand can help these efforts in a variety of ways before forming an official partnership.
“Do not be afraid to make mistakes or admit you 'don’t know' the answer. Surround yourself with the right people and never be afraid to ask questions.”Samuel Krost
- TWOn your website, you allow visitors to submit stories that highlight the beauty of support, friendship and community. Have there been any that have had a particular impact on you personally?
SKEvery story that’s submitted has a profound impact on myself and the entire team. These stories are the leading driver in our team’s motivation and continued inspiration. What we find to be the most beautiful aspect of our brand’s slogan, Support Your Friends, are the hundreds of ways people interpret the slogan differently.
- TWThe past two years have been tough for a lot of brands – how has the pandemic affected you and how you work?
SKBeing a brand that uses what’s happening around the world as inspiration, we’ve never been busier.
- TWYou’ve produced some exciting collaborations this year including your most recent with FILA. What role do you see these collaborations playing in the brand’s future?
SKWe’ve been fortunate to collaborate with many storied brands with a platform much larger than ours currently. So, we look at these collaborations as opportunities to push the story we’re aiming to tell that much further.
- TWWhat are your long term goals for the brand and how do you plan on making them happen?
SKThe long-term vision for the brand is to be inclusive of all. With that, it’s our goal to create product that all can love and have. As we grow and scale, our goal is to be able to offer product that exists within all markets from high-end, to the mass market.
- TWWhere can people get their hands on KROST?
SKKrostnewyork.com Saks 5th Avenue Harvey Nichols END Clothing Selfridges Barneys Japan Basic.Space