Sometimes people dress based on trends, and sometimes people come up with their own impressive styles independent of what's in vogue. We recently spotted engraver Kim Knowles, a true taste-maker. Keep reading to learn her style mantra, her fashion icons and some of her fashion philosophy. See also: - Jasmine Douglas on her swagged-out style - Concierge Gillian Kumm on her artistic look - Technical writer Lauren Jestes on her colorful summer style
Name: Kim Knowles.
Spotted at: 16th and California streets.
Profession: I'm an engraver for A&L Engravers. I get to come up with my own designs and run the shop with another guy, so it's fun. I want to be a baker, a pastry chef someday as well.
Favorite film: Harold and Maude. I just love the film and how it's tragic, but still a really funny movie.
2013 jam: "Sweetness" by Vincent Gallo. It's really romantic but happy.
Style inspirations/icons: I don't know. I like Morticia Adams and Alison Mosshart. If I had an endless amount of money, I would just dress like Kate Moss or Alison Mosshart every day.
Favorite color: Black.
Favorite accessory: Red lipstick. I am super pale and wear black all the time, so the red lip gives a great pop of color. I just go to have something a bit more lively in there.
Style mantra: Basically, I like classic styles, but I also want to be cutting-edge. I like to be classic and edgy.
Shops at: Mostly vintage and thrift stores. I like Buffalo Exchange, H&M and TJ Maxx sometimes for shoes.
Knowles is a native of San Diego. "To be honest," she says, "Denver is a few years behind style on the West Coast. Denver is definitely more hippie-earthy, in terms of fashion. In San Diego, everyone wears name brands and is so trendy."
This tattoo is of two insects, flies, having sex. Knowles has an obsession with insects. Some evidence: this tattoo, a moth tattoo on her other arm, and the pin of a gold cockroach on her black dress. Knowles thinks flies are under-appreciated -- even though there are 16,000 of them for every human.
This black leather handbag with a scarf tied around it is both classic and resourceful. "It's really weird to see things that you liked a long time ago become trendy," she says. "I'm not the originator of all style, but I've noticed anything that is counter-culture or subculture will become popular later. Some years later, like punk-rock fashion, or the mix of hard and soft, is super-popular right now."
These nude high heels are a Buffalo Exchange find, and can match with any outfit -- just like the color black. "As style evolves, if you stay the same, then that is your true style. I try to be the same, and other people's styles and trends don't affect me. You've got to stick to your own aesthetic."
Style analysis: Knowles presents a modern twist on classic style. She sticks to the color black with a pop of red lips, like Morticia Addams, yet makes the look personal with insect details and such modern elements as nude heels. She is a woman who knows her style well, and refines it to reveal something about herself to the world.
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Always set your own trends, Denver.