Dressed like a king

Samuel Parkinson of Kings Tribe Clothing

Photo By william leung

Samuel Parkinson brings the over-the-top dramatic appeal of high fashion back to reality with his company Kings Tribe Clothing. A screen-printing internship in high school spurred this Sacramento native toward a career in fashion. His urban-inspired apparel and accessories line is built from passion, a drive to create and the partnership of a lifelong friend.

When did you first become interested in fashion?

I’d like to think that I’ve always been a fashionable person. However, it wasn’t until my junior year of high school that I became seriously interested in persuing a career in fashion. The high school I went to required graduating seniors to complete a senior project—a lengthy research report on the career you wanted in the future. I knew of a local screen-printing shop, Galt Sign & Screenprinting, and I took an internship with them to keep the project simple. That’s how I first became involved with design. I later went on to study fashion design and marketing at the International Academy of Design & Technology, here in Sacramento.

Who is involved in Kings Tribe Clothing?

Kings Tribe Clothing is comprised of my partner, Erayis Montes, and myself. I handle the clothing design and product production, and Erayis handles the business end and marketing techniques.

How long have you known him?

I’ve known Erayis for over a decade, since the sixth grade. We went to elementary school, junior high school and most of high school together.

Describe your brand.

When individuals come together to create something, they expand the power of what they create. The KTC brand represents the idea that we have individual leaders within our tribe, but together, we demonstrate the power of kings.

What inspired you guys to create KTC?

A lot of our inspiration derives from Native American culture—the colors, the textures of materials and the people. Ever since I was younger, Erayis and I and a few other friends always considered ourselves to be a tribe. So it was only natural for the designs to have a tribal influence. Self-expression of the socioeconomic times, music and the B-boy culture has also helped to inspire the designs of Kings Tribe Clothing.

Tell me about the logo.

Our logo is a handmade ax and a peace pipe. Basically, it’s a personal expression of the Chinese symbols of ying and yang. The ax represents war and the peace pipe represents peace. It also means work and play and a lot of other things. It’s everything we’ve gone through and will go through to accomplish our goals.

What are your goals within the fashion industry?

My biggest goal is to become internationally known for my cut-and-sew expertise. I specialize in creating one-of-a-kind pieces. I want someone like President [Barack] Obama to call me and say, “I want a jacket,” and I’ll be able to make him a custom jacket that isn’t sold anywhere else.

Also, I want to have smaller collections to sell out of small boutiques. I don’t want my brand to become commercialized and be sold in department stores. I pride my brand on its urban appeal, special orders and custom-made pieces. I want some pieces to maintain their rarity by only being available in small boutiques within urban districts.

How many collections does KTC currently have?

I have multiple T-shirt collections. I collaborated with a number of different local artists, some from the Zuhg Life Store out of Westfield Downtown Plaza, to design a number of diverse styles.

My designer collection is called Naturally Urban. It includes both men and women’s apparel and accessories. The cut-and-sew designs embody the urban environment in Sacramento. …

My screen-printed T-shirts are targeted more to high-school and college students. My cut-and-sew merchandise is more expensive, and therefore our target market is a more mature, career-driven group.

Have you ever done runway before?

Yes, I’ve been showcasing my cut-and-sew, as well as my screen-print collections, on runways for about two years now. My first show was at Oshima Sushi Fugu Lounge in Natomas. I showcased an eight-piece collection; mostly custom jackets. Also my screen-printed T-shirts.

What is your fashion philosophy?

Make it functional and original, and only pay attention to the trends that match your fashion forte. Fashion works better when you just be you.

Where can nonlocals find KTC merchandise?

Locals and nonlocals can find KTC merchandise at Cuffs, French Cuff [Consignment], and Zuhg Life Store in downtown Sacramento. For people not living in Sacramento, KTC can be browsed and purchased through our website at www.kingstribeclothing.com, and through our virtual store, which is connected to our Facebook fan page at www.facebook.com/kingstribe.

Describe the Sacramento fashion scene in three words.

Developing, diverse and growing.