Interview with EXKITE founders, Renzo and Erin

“I wanted to give my kites new life, to see them fly again. We`re thrilled to share these beautiful pre-flown stories transformed into one-of-a-kind collection with the consumer, and take pride in providing sustainable, technical pieces rooted in functionality, design and craftsmanship.», Eirinn Skrede

1. What is EXKITE about? What is the story behind it ?

2. How was it born? How did you make the jump from sports to fashion?

EXKITE is about fashion, sport, passion, sustainability and stories.

EXKITE is making one-of-a-kind items for the savvy sustainable consumer, high streetwear aficionado, or anyone desiring a bold, expressive piece with its own story.

EXKITE uses upcycled kites to handcraft their garments into comfortable, sustainable, one-of-a-kind testaments to eco-friendly design and fashion.

EXKITE is the creation of world-class kiter, test pilot and developer, Renzo Mancini, and Norwegian stylist & creative director Eirinn Skrede, a couple that mirror the unique and international offerings of EXKITE.

Mancini, wanted to give a new life to his stock of pre flown kites. He shared his idea with Skrede, and the EXKITE story was born. “With EXKITE we have created fashion with a soul”, says Mancini.

The jump into fashion was quite natural, since I got to learn a lot from Eirinn, my partner in life and business.

3. What inspires you the most about your job?

What inspires us most about our job is the fantastic adventure we are right in the middle of. All the interesting people that came across us the past years, the new experiences with developing the brand, concepts and marketing. To share the stories and emotions that kitesurfing both has giving us, and of course to make something that is working with the nature, not against it.

4. Where do you source the kites?

That is our little secret, but we can say that we are glad there are many good people out there that wants to share their stories with us, and contribute to upcycling.

5. What was the first piece EXKITE ever made? Which one has been your favorite? What has been the hardest to let go of/ sell?

The very first item we made was a jacket for ourself. We knew that it would be difficult to make a jacket, but as we both like challenges, that did not stop us from trying. The model was not too far from the jacket we sell today actually, but it was made by hand in our garage with quite different lining and less technical accessories.

Our favorite model is the Parka.

Actually every time is very difficult to let go of an item. It sounds strange, of course we are happy to sell, but they are all so special!! We know so well how much joy, and thrills the kites they have been made of has experienced, and this makes them all so unique! Sometimes we look at a jacket and think - wow this must be the most beautiful one, it can not be possible to make a better, and then.. suddenly it pops up an even better, and so it goes on. It is a never ending story ;) We both remember the first of our own kites that we cut up to make jackets and all the trips and love they were filled with - of course it «hurts» a bit to let go of your best holiday buddy. But it is also sooo cool to see someone on the street wearing a piece of your stories - and this is what really is magic!

6. Which model is your best seller?

The Parka

7. Who would you say is your client? Who wears ex kite?

Difficult to generalize, but we see a red thread that our clients are interested in design, architecture and of course fashion. Our clients are focusing on the environment, they are appreciating uniqueness, and new concepts, very often living in metropoles. We are luckily not limited to an age group, we see clients in all ages.

8. What is the EXKITE philosophy?

EXKITE is honest, pure and unique. EXKITE is a celebration of individuality, EXKITE authenticates this value in every unique, handmade garment with our Original collection made from 100% upcycled kites.

9. Would you say EXKITE is an active brand? How did it end up in LAMARCA?

EXKITE is definitively an active brand. We are living and breathing our production and all that what it involves from photoshoots, marketing, sales, production and of course kiting.

We were invited to have our collection in LAMARCA after the owners discovered our brand on one of their trips to Porto Cervo, Sardinia.

10. Can you tell us a bit about when you were a kite-surf pilot and a competing pro?

I started kiting in 1999, and was a competing pro from 2000 - 2011. I started working as a tester for a internasjonal kite surf brand in 2003.

11. How is life in Sardinia?

Life is great in Sardinia, and it is perfect for us to have as a base. We have two small children, and living here is paradise for them, it is friendly place, its peaceful, we have the ocean just in front of us every day, it is windy and work is good. At the same time there are many interesting people here, and I think even the nature makes us more free and creative.

12. What is your favorite kite spot in the world?

Renzo: Barbados

Eirinn: Haugastøl, Norway (snowkiting)

13. What do you see happening in the near future for X-kite, where do you want to take it? Any new products coming soon

There are a lot of interesting things going on for EXKITE these days, with interest from America, Asia and Europe. We are constantly working on new ideas and concepts, and we think there is a bright future for our brand, so we are very positive!

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