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Hello Brooklyn #15 - Mike Rubin and Courtenay Nearburg

The creative minds behind the American brand Krammer & Stoudt

Hello Brooklyn #15 - Mike Rubin and Courtenay Nearburg The creative minds behind the American brand Krammer & Stoudt

The eccentric duo behind American menswear brand, Krammer & Stoudt are as married to each other as they are to their craft.

They live in their office, with their furry companions, Baby and Cheddar, always on their laps. And from their Dumbo apartment, they share a shamefully beautiful view of the Brooklyn Bridge too. 

On the day of this interview, Courtney Nearburg, one-half of Krammer & Stoudt, smokes a cigarette in the corner not far from her desktop, where I imagine she's picking through work emails, some perhaps purchase orders from newly minted buying relationships established in Paris. Of which the West-by-way-of-East Coast menswear brand recently showed. Mike Rubin, Nearburg's sartorial half, lounges on the couch with the cats. He's wearing a red Hawaiian print button-up and his signature straw hat. Many of Rubin’s aesthetic signatures are what make up the DNA of Krammer & Stoudt. But together the free-loving couple from California are simply artists from Orange County. Stitching together their dreams. Curated in Brooklyn. 


#1 Krammer & Stoudt came about well into your respective careers. Do you think your current success is a direct result of a life well lived?


Mike Rubin: I guess first you have to define a life well lived. I'd have to say it's about hard work and a great deal of naivete.

Courtenay Nearburg: When we first started we really didn't know anything about fashion design. We had to basically teach ourselves every single aspect of it. From how to source fabric to how to create a brand.


#2 This question is for Mike: During all the peaks and valleys of your life how has your style changed?


MR:  That’s funny because I guess I always worked on style personally but I never really felt very conscious about it. If I’m lucky sometimes I discover things about myself that I’ve forgotten about, or I discover something new. Like when I first met Courtenay I had never been to Texas or the Southwest. So, she took me to New Mexico. She really likes it. She’d lived there for a while. And she said I had to like it too if we were going to stay together. When we went there I really connected to the Western wear. 

That brings me back to something in my past about this really great surfer that lived in my hometown. He was like this weird dude. He would drive down the middle of Main Street in his pickup truck like five miles an hour. He had his stereo speakers from his house in the bed of his truck and was wearing a cowboy hat and had the music turned up full blast. Just driving down Main Street. I just remember that image. 


#3 What's the difference between how the European industry receives you as opposed to how the menswear industry in New York receives you? 


CN: We literally just got back from our first time showing in Paris. We were kind of nervous about it. At Pitti Uomo we’ve been embraced by the Liberty Fairs “Born in the U.S.A.” section. It was a pretty comfortable environment for us. We were surrounded by other American brands. We kind of fit into their scenario. Krammer & Stoudt has always been kind of on the outskirts of even the Made in the U.S.A. community. So, we’ve been very well appreciated and supported by those brands. But we were nervous about Paris. We went there a year and a half ago, and were like woah! We have to up the game if we want to compete in this environment. Every step of the way, we’ve stumbled our way through the process, and here we are, we’ve managed success through no lack of support.      


#4 What can I look forward to for SS18?


CN: I think sophistication was the target. Just to streamline our existing patterns and existing library of what we’ve been doing.

#5 What’s something you can only do in Brooklyn, that you think New Yorkers take for granted?


CN: Dumbo is practically abandoned at night. Mike sometimes will smoke a cigar and play his guitar on this coffee shop stop, after they close. So, if you want a personal concert by Mike Rubin swing by between 9:30 and 11:30 PM.


image credits Zane Gan