The more time I spend with King Brothers Clothiers owners, twins Danny and Kenny King, the less red and blue they become.
To alleviate confusion, their mom always dressed Kenny in red and Danny in blue. Mom knew her boys. “We always wanted people to be able to tell who we were,” said Danny. “We feel as though the way that you represent yourself should communicate a broader message. People should know what you’re all about within a few minutes of having met you,” said Kenny.
The twins share the influence that their mom and well-dressed granddads had on them in a new book: “The Image Advantage: Maximize Your Most Overlooked Asset.”
Danny said, “If what you look like matches the person you are, people are going to be attracted to that and I think Karl [Anthony Towns, a client] is a good example of what’s on the inside is on the outside.”
Q: Why was it time to write a book?
A: Kenny: We realized as we were telling our story over and over about how we got started and why we are so passionate, that we had a lot to say, anybody who knows us knows we always have a lot to say. As twins, we have a really unique lens into image and why it’s important. Danny: Starting from when our mom would dress Kenny in red and me in blue; looking back, what we wore communicated who we were. Most people couldn’t tell us apart.
Q: What is your second favorite passion after fashion?
A: Kenny: After image and clothing, I would say food travel/travel food. Danny: Yeah, I think for me obviously … [looking at Kenny, whispering] it’s the same answer.
Q: Do you think there was a genetic component to your need for haberdashery based on your maternal grandfather and his brothers always being decked out in three-piece suits?
A: Danny: There is a generational component. We looked at our grandpas and [thought] they looked cool. I want to do that. And the generation before us look at their dad and were like “I don’t want to do that.” That’s when Casual Friday was born.
Q: There’s a story in the book about your maternal grandfather’s verve returning when he got to try on a suit you made for him for a wedding. Who cried when they saw him walking down the hallway?
A: [Kenny raised his hand.] Danny: Kenny’s more of a crier. I’m like the guy who will watch a movie and like pinch myself — “Don’t cry.” We didn’t try to make it a big deal but it happened to be over the holidays so everybody was there. We took my grandpa into a room to figure it out alone but he liked it so much, he hugged us and ran out. My mom was crying, our aunts were crying. Our grandma said, “Let’s make out.” It was quite the big reveal. Kenny: He was always the really well-dressed doctor. His stuff just didn’t fit him like it used to and as a result he didn’t feel he looked as good in it. When we were able to get him a suit made for his current body, [he felt] how you’re supposed to feel. It was one of my favorite things I’ve ever seen.
Q: Your mom hired you to make this well-fitting suit for your grandpa. You didn’t send her a bill?
A: Danny: We need to make our money back. Kenny: My mom and one of her sisters offered to buy him a suit and we said, “We would love to get him a suit but we’ll give you the biggest discount we can.” Danny: It’s a wash but somebody had a great suit.
Q: Are you trying to make people who don’t care about clothing care?
A: Kenny: Yes.
Q: Do you have rules about hangers? I discovered KARE 11 anchor and fashion icon Cory Hepola likes similar articles of clothing on matching hangers.
A: Danny: We give our clients special hangers for their suit or sport coat every time. That’s the hanger you need to keep it on because if you start messing around with little dinky hangers the pad is going to be compromised.
Q: Which one of you guys has the neater closet?
A: Danny: Kenny for sure. Kenny: I don’t find it appropriate to take off my custom suit and throw it on the bed. Danny: But then when you go into the room … you have so many options at eye level waiting for you.
C.J. can be reached at email@example.com and seen on Fox 9’s “Buzz.” E-mailers, please state a subject; “Hello” does not count.