Imagine this… You’re the head chef and it is right in the middle of the always busy dinner rush. It’s hot, it’s busy, it’s chaotic…and now people can see everything you do because your restaurant just recently changed to an open kitchen format. Typically the way you look would be the last thing on your mind. However, now along with everything else you have to on a daily basis, you need to look your best while doing it.
The Birth of Active Chef
It was this very situation that has come up so many times while talking with our customers that gave us the idea for our new chef wear line Active Chef.
So as KNG’s new apparel designer, I was now expected to leverage my previous work experience in the sports apparel industry to make this happen. Luckily my leadership roles in design and merchandising at adidas, REI, and Vans provide me with a rich background in designing and launching new lines of sports apparel.
After months of hard work, research, and lots of fabric swatches, we ended up with a great new line, which is a contemporary collection of Chef Coats, Pants, Shirts and Headwear geared for today’s high-performance kitchens.
Unique Combination of Design and Performance
The design elements for Active Chef reflect a unique hybrid of features borrowed from active sportswear in combination with traditional Chef wear. After many conversations with our customers it was clear we needed to create a product that not only looks great, but also performs like high-end sportswear.
Basically, we decided we needed to create a clothing line that looks and performs like a Ferrari, while still keeping true to our always reasonable pricing. I will be honest it wasn’t an easy task but we finally got it.
The “COOL” Factor – Design Inspired
With the recent evolution of “Open Kitchen” formats in restaurants along with the increasing popularity of cooking inspired TV shows, chefs are gaining more and more visibility in today’s culture. This increased visibility has inspired chefs to present themselves in an entirely new way. The days of dingy, food stained, white chef coat are over.
This is why one of two main areas of focus during the Active Chef creation, was style. Here is a quick overview of what we added:
New Bold Colors- If you have ever bought chef clothing from KNG in the past, you know that a variety of different colors has never been a big emphasis of ours. Well, we finally changed that! In addition to offering traditional black and white Active Chef will offer 6 new bold colors to choose from including red, lime, teal, orange, slate, and pink. So we will most likely have the right color to fit your own personal style and restaurant branding.
Improved Shape and Form- Taking design and style detail cues from the athletic sportswear industry we’ve incorporated the best of the best details that offer the greatest amount of performance yet subtle enough to keep the wearer sleek and professional looking. Our most important goal is an unparalleled fit…not only for Men…but most importantly for Women.
Kitchen Athlete – Performance with Style is Key
The second area of improvement we incorporated into the Active Chef line was in overall performance and functionality. At the end of the day the last thing we wanted is to have a great looking product that just doesn’t work. It was clear in all of our conversations with our customers that performance–both freedom of movement AND ventilation–was just as important as style.
Here is a quick overview of what I designed into the Active Chef line to deliver performance and functionality:
Lightweight and Wicking Fabric: 100% Spun-Polyester Poplin is the main fabric utilized throughout the collection…it’s lightweight, silky smooth, and looks and feels like cotton…but more suited for the kitchen workplace as it’s highly durable, stain resistant, and stands up to frequent laundering to look fresh and crisp wash after wash! Our inner collars and venting areas incorporate 100% Polyester flat-back mesh…all perfectly incorporated in areas that will allow the wearer great comfort from the kitchen heat.
We’ve combined Full Range of Motion Design Details with Venting in Key Areas: From flexible back shoulder venting flanges and stretchy underarm mesh inset gussets to pants with articulating front and back hidden mesh panels at the knees our Active Chef collection offers up the perfect balance of air-flow and freedom of movement. With details so well placed you’ll never be distracted or unencumbered while you perform your duties.
Active Chef Available in October!!
So I invite you to take a sneak peek at our new Active Chef collection by visiting www.kng.com/ac, and if you like what you see, let us know by signing up to be notified when we’ll start taking orders in October.
KNG Apparel Designer