• Ku is a Los Angeles/Japanese brand that incorporates traditional local influences into the design process.

• Founder Steven Hoel explains that the brand aims to attract customers who are "looking to discover a brand which offers a feeling of discovery and something that is completely unique and ensures a real wow-factor! ".

• Rare machinery is employed for fabric and garment production to give the brand its unique look.

• Precious yarn-dyed handloom patterns, the remaining inventory of a closing Japanese factory, reinforce the artisan identity of the line bringing colour and pattern to internal details eg waistband lining, pocket bags, back neck yoke etc.

• Rustic weaves and rich deep green and purple casts.

• Weft-dyed for rich altered indigo shades and grain yarn dyes in workwear shades.

• The capacity of the factory the brand works with in Japan is limited to 1000 pieces per month in total. This ensures that the brand remains exclusive.

• Prices range from $75 to $125.

• The owner Steven Hoel, was the co-founder of successful brand Ed Hardy.


The first KU collection was shown in the fall of 1991. At that time, workwear, urban street rap was all the rage. A very "f you" attitude.

There were NO Asian brands or motiffs being used. At the time, Japanese buyers were always looking to USA and Europe to bring fashion into Japan. Japanese society was still trying to "catch up with the west" after world war 2. It never occured to them that their own style of fashion could be cool.

We exhibited our first collection in fall 1991, and the Japanese buyers were stunned. Now they came to USA, and an American company had put the "cool stamp of approval" on Asian sensibilities while there were Aisan deisgners (Issey Miyake, ie) at the time, these desigers were styling more western fashion.

KU WAS THE VERY FIRST ASIAN BRAND WORLWIDE. Everyone in Japan knows KU we were also the first to use dragons (this time around) . When KU came out, the only place to find dragons was at a karate studio.

Tokyo was the fashion capital at the time, and all three fashion houses were carrying KU at the same time (beams, ships and united arrows). This is unheard of, to this day. THERE SIMPLY WAS NO CHOICE, KU HAD THIS MARKET TO ITSELF.

When the fashion capital moved to london in about 1993 - 1994 KU was picked up by Duffer of St George and Jones in Covent Garden. This was followed by the new Urban Outfitters store on Kensington High Street.

KU is sold in usa by Fred Segal, M. Fredric, Planet Blue, Atrium, Rolo, Nordstrom, Saks, Macy's and 200 other fine boutiques.

This is the design consideration of all KU garments:

We believe the process (essence) of each design is what gives the garment lasting value. We do not chase trends, nor do we turn away from them. KU naturally expresses it's ideas in garment form. We never stray
from our design philosophy:


Enlightenment is the core of our theme.Humans are the core reason of what we do. Materialism is not.

Clothing as a tribute to the perfected human?.with a mind of his own?

This is the KU Style.

There is a meaning to every single fabric and design in KU Style.

These meanings reach the mind of those who wear KU.

Helping them to become sublime!

KU contemplates against materialism.

Clothing with no meaning is just a material item.

Fashion is simply an element which compliments Human's beauty.

A meaning is needed in the process, for practical clothing to become independent fashion.

Contemplate the MEANING to create.......is what KU does.

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