Latino designer makes blue-collar workwear chic
Growing up on a ranch in South Texas inspired designer Shayne Salinas to draw on the durable and functional workwear of his childhood to create kooTH, his latest clothing line.
“I package every order individually, including a personalized thank you note,” says Shayne Salinas, an up and coming Houston Fashion Designer and CEO of his own clothing line, kooTH Brand.
After completing high school, Salinas moved to Los Angeles to pursue his dream of becoming a fashion designer. He studied at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandizing in L.A. and launched his first business there. He specialized in street wear, before moving the company to Las Vegas.
Salinas closed his business in Las Vegas to finally embark on his dream of establishing kooTH in Texas, where he could focus on clothing that is durable and fashionable. The brand name is derived form the word couth which means cultured, refined and well-mannered.
He and his staff personally use a stone slate to hand press each tee-shirt with the company’s logo, so no two shirts are alike. Listening to Salinas describe the care and attention he gives each customer transports you back to the 1930’s, when doctors made house calls, the milkman dropped off your order and shopping was an experience.
kooTH jackets are waterproof and have pencil holders sewn in, something that growing up on a ranch taught Salinas was important.
“The workers are out there for hours in all kinds of weather and it’s important that they are comfortable and protected from the environment,” said Salinas.
Specializing in men’s clothing, Salinas recently debuted his Fall 2014 line with retro looks reminiscent of early 1900’s train conductors, but the modern design makes them fashionable for both work and play.
Salinas attends to every detail in the manufacturing of kooTH, from the quality of the fabric which he picks up himself to the double stitching of the buttons. He also takes pride that all his clothing is made in the USA, something that is important to him as a native Texan.
While kooTH is priced above standard workwear, it can be a bargain when compared to other designer clothing.
“I use small manufacturing firms here in the US that are able to deliver the work at a reasonable price,” said Salinas when asked how he keeps prices low.
Will he continue doing men’s fashion or is women’s fashion something in his horizon? Mr. Salinas smiles as he answers that the future is full of possibilities.