Fashion like most things in life is in a constant state of metamorphoses. Textures, fabrics, colors and garment structures are ever-changing as designers attempt to stay relevant in a microwave society where rompers are the talk of the town today and lace shorts are all the rave tomorrow. Daniel K. Grier, founder and textile designer of Splashed by DKG, will make you reimagine the possibilities when it comes to the fashion classic… denim.
Founded in 2013, Grier started Splashed by DKG out of his mothers garage. Initially, he was transforming regular pairs of jeans into statement pieces but as his garments grew in popularity, so did his vision for what was possible. He’d already captured his hometown of Birmingham, AL and before long what was once a hobby had turned into a full fledged fashion line using his signature technique of “splashing.”
According to Grier, “In 2014, I’d gotten an opportunity to present here in Birmingham at the Alabama International Fashion Week. Once I saw what I could do with denim, I immediately knew what I could do with a show of that magnitude. I had a vision but maybe not always the ability to execute because I didn’t know how to sew.” That void was filled by another Birmingham native, Derek Matthews, partner/designer/seamster at Splashed by DKG. Not only did Matthews know how to sew; he understood. “He immediately got it. His vision together with mine meshed into all of this magic” explains Grier. That partnership propelled Splashed by DKG to another dimension.
The brand has several collections and the evolution of the line has been evident with each. Matthews explains, “Textiles are now more intentionally done. There was research into African culture and tradition with different textile techniques for the “Art On The Rocks” collection. We did a lot of research and interviewed people who have family from those regions to figure out how we can merge African culture with what we were doing.” The “Art On The Rocks” collection in particular was hand painted using bold vibrant colors that all have significant meaning within African culture. All of the Splashed by DKG designs are handmade with unique craftsmanship and attention to detail which makes each piece feel like a custom made design.
Currently, both Grier and Matthews are taking business courses to further expand their knowledge beyond the design aspect of their business. Ofcourse, there’s been trial and error throughout the process but they both take great pride in what they’ve been able to accomplish thusfar. “We are very good at putting out a professional image at a low cost. From the outside we may look funded, but we are not.” admits Matthews who is not only a designer and seamster but also the resident photographer.
The ability of this duo to elevate denim in ways not seen before is captivating. While maintaining the integrity of their brand at times has meant choosing their vision over a quick profit, they understand the value of their time, their art and the brand as a whole. With an emphasis on “Denim done right” as their tagline suggests; Splashed by DKG is breathing new life into denim as it redefines how denim is designed and worn. With the culturally relevant themes in their fashion shows to the mission behind the brand, Splashed is setting trends rather than following them. Ultimately, Grier explains it best, “We want our clothes to last and for you to feel some kind of moment every time you put them on.”
Derek Matthews Designer/Seamster (left)
Daniel Grier Founder/Designer (right)