A road trip through Morocco led brother-and-sister design team Christopher and Nicholas Kunz to look up female explorers who had traveled the region. They found Isabelle Eberhardt, the Swiss explorer who dressed as a man so that she could move freely through turn-of-the-century North Africa. “It was unlike anything we could imagine,” said Nicholas of the obstacles Eberhardt faced.
To translate ideas of protection and power into clothes for a modern explorer, the Kunzes stuck with what they know well: wares for the urban warrior. There were leather shawls, scrunched-up cargo pants, harnesses and knee guards. In a novel turn, a little black dress was adorned with an armor of Pilot pens. Khaki chino is emerging as an early NYFW trend, and the Kunzes used it successfully, although predictably, on a utility jacket and knee-length shorts. Casio G-Shock watches were done with camouflage bands, which complemented the lightweight cotton pieces rendered in a similar print. Lace-up heels, created in partnership with Korean designer Kiyoon Baek, added a sharp sexiness. And jewelry designer Victoria Simes’ horsehair accessories emphasized the nomadic, almost wild, look. The Kunz aesthetic is very specific and consistent, but for Spring, the designers shook things up a little by adding a level of polish to the collection through impressive draping: Loosely wrapped silk tops and side-tie skirts could easily become wardrobe staples.