Blk. Label X Long Maxi Skirt
It’s a pleasure to meet you Kyle! Tell us a little bit about yourself and the inspiration behind Blk. Label X.

Hello, nice to meet you as well! Well for starters my full name is Kyle X Kilgore (and yes that is my birth given name) and I grew up right outside of El Puerto de Santa Maria, Spain. When I first moved to the US I lived in St. Louis, MO for a while. The fact that I was the only guy in my neighborhood and school that wore black skinny jeans, band tees, and big boots made me a little uncomfortable so I moved to Tampa (which is the Goth/metal capital of the U.S. back in the mid to late 80’s). I started BLK.LABELX in 2012 with the intention of building my own fashion haus. The BLK.LABELX brand itself is inspired by modern culture in general. I love going to new places and meeting new people so I can witness first hand how their culture is and how they dress, who inspires them, and the history of how a certain style came to be.

What initially drew you to alternative and Goth culture?

I love the diversity of Goth culture. There are so many sub categories of goth that have their own history and universe. But no matter if it’s cyber-goth, nu-goth, trad-goth, or Victorian goth there is always a very mysterious, sexy, elegance that is strangely appealing and scary at the same time – and the music is phenomenal.

What are some of the most prominent elements that inspire your work and brands aesthetic?

The first BLK.LABELX collection that was designed by me hasn’t been named yet. This specific collection is really inspired by Tampa culture and history with a Christian humanitarian moral. This collection is completely black. I feel that color pays homage to Tampa’s Goth/metal roots and it also allows the wearer to make a personal statement. In my Gothic Beauty magazine spread I explained how the color black is timeless, simple, and allows endless color combinations as well as limitless personal style adaptations. Which ultimately allows the wearers personal individuality to shine through. During the prohibition era Tampa was the number one seller of illegal spirits via small underground shops and bars called “speakeasies”. In the collection you’ll find lots of 50’s inspired construction and influence like high-waisted  pieces, solid and simplistically bold patterns, etc.

What are the most difficult hardships you’ve had to face since becoming an entrepreneur?

Easily, it’s a lack of money. I’ve managed to build BLK.LABELX from scratch, but in order for any company to function smoothly and properly, one needs money. Before the stores orders became steady I had to pay for the models, packing material, photographers and web designers  from my own pocket. Between my personal expenses and the store my finances, things were VERY rough for a decent amount of time.

What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs that wish to turn their passion into a fruitful business?

I would suggest two things. First, DON’T get caught up in the “idea” of your business. What I mean is, don’t become dazzled by the millions you might make some day and don’t become obsessed with your image and all the events you’re invited to. Focus on your business because If you don’t spend every second you can spare to grow and polish it, those millions and all those events will never come. You have to work HARD to play hard. Second, don’t give up. Starting a business is very hard and believe me, when you’ve got a mile high stack of things to do and it feels like you have nothing to show for, don’t get discouraged. Keep pushing. When Steve Jobs was living with his mom building computers in a garage he probably thought the same thing but look at his business now.

Who are your most influential style icons?

My most prominent style Icons would be Amelia Arsenic, and Mad Max.

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