Peninsula Beverly Hills
Through CCCXXXIII, Designer & Creative Director Christopher R. King Redefines Luxury As We Know It
By Kimberly Anne
Imagine if you could combine a haute fashion designer with a Picasso and a young Leonardo Di Vinci. You might begin to comprehend the creative and innovative capacity of Christopher R. King and the tone of the brand he founded, CCCXXXIII. Someone who is a true Renaissance man in every essence of the word, his brand is a direct expression of his love for hand craftsmanship, functional art, and highend fashion. A man who appreciates and participates in the arts, speaks business, indulges in delicacies worldwide, and innovates fashion, it seems there is no end to his capabilities and imagination. For anyone who encounters Mr. King, they are a witness to his passion and desire to create a product that embodies his character. After years of building businesses and collaborating with others, in 2017 he decided to take the leap and begin creating his own designs. In a years time, he’s already launched three (obviously) high-end, limited edition, luxury products that are appealing to collectors and aficionados worldwide. He’s also secured, what looks to be, an international Aston Martin deal and it seems other collaborations are in the works. I have a feeling though, this is only the beginning.
We showcased Mr. King in a previous Designer Spotlight interview when he initially launched his brand with the Attache case and we’re following up with him now to catch up on some of his latest product launches.
What collections currently make up the CCCXXXIII brand?
Currently, our collections consist of three products; the Attache case, the Slipper, and the Humidor. I’m also curating special projects with Aston Martin and Petrossian Caviar.
What inspired you to redefine the men’s luxury slipper?
I’ve always loved slippers. They’re an elegant shoe for someone to wear with a nice dinner jacket, but also luxurious and stylish enough to wear with tuxedos. However, what I found was, the quality of most slippers wasn’t up to par and more importantly the comfortability wasn’t there. Imagine having your foot surrounded by a mattress; that is what I always thought it should feel like, and I never found that. I wanted to create that sensation. The best of comfort, luxury, and style. That’s why I wanted to create the slipper.
The names for your collections always have a story, what inspired the names for your slippers?
The names of the slippers are Re, Cavaliere, and Vescovo which translates to King, Knight, and Bishop in Italian. Most people name products after people or they name collections after things that inspire them. For me, I was really inspired by old-world history, ancient Roman empires, old-world craftsmanship, and Italian craftsmanship. Not to mention, my descendants and family heritage are all European, so all of these concepts appeal to me.
What kind of materials are used for the slippers and why did you choose those materials?
For the Vescovo slipper, I wanted to use the finest velvet silk blend. I think the way that it drapes over the shoe is really magical. It has the most luxurious look and touch, in my opinion. The Porosus Crocodile we used for the Re, is obviously the most luxurious crocodile skin on the planet. Then for the Cavaliere, we used a really high-end Italian leather that has grains, the same kind of grain that I used for the Attache case. I went with this because most slippers have a smooth, high gloss finish, and I wanted more of the grain, matte finish. I felt this made it more different and unique. I also decided to bring in shaved mink. It’s a nice luxurious fur that’s much better than the synthetic fur as it doesn’t cause your
feet to sweat as much (believe it or not). It keeps your feet warm but allows them to breathe, because it’s real fur. I also decided to use high-end suede, cashmere, and even merino wool for the inside which adds the padding and the mattress feel.
What is it about these slippers that makes them so much more comfortable than the competition?
I took a unique approach when designing these slippers. We used a technique that takes the diamond quilt-stitch padding, layered with the highest quality suede and cotton, and surround all sides of the foot. This way, not only is the slipper padded where you step on it, but we have the same thickness and diamond quilted padding all around the inside of the shoe. So when your feet slide into this slipper, they’re wrapped around an incredible mattress-like feeling. They’re one of the most comfortable slippers that I’ve ever put on, and I’ve owned hundreds!
Where are the slippers made and how involved are you in the process?
The slippers are made in Italy and I’ve been involved in every single part of the process. I’m a very hands-on designer and I take a lot of pride in the details. I’ve drawn them, designed them, and improved them. I’ve overlooked every single detail from layers of padding on the inside to the 20mm solid gold coin on the outside. I created and selected all the materials used, handpicked the skins, and even selected the style of the stitching down to the red silk piping that lines the outside of the slipper.
In our previous interview you mentioned, “This is a brand that was created to elevate the standards of luxury, embracing modern shopping behaviors while bringing back the true art of old world craftsmanship”, can you explain this statement a little further? Why did you feel it was necessary to elevate the standards of luxury, and how would you define modern shopping behaviors?
My goal with CCCXXXIII is to create a limited luxury line, that guarantees to make only a specific amount within each collection. We allow the brand to be truly limited and pledge this by the name CCCXXXIII (333). We want to push and stretch the boundaries of luxury. I want to find the most skilled artisans in the world, whose craftsmanship is considered, the best of the best, and my goal is to push them beyond those capabilities. How do we make it more luxurious? How do we add more detail? How do we go above and beyond? For CCCXXXIII, that’s the main idea.
Regarding modern shopping behaviors, there are a lot of case studies and we’ve seen it first hand, that people are starting to buy more luxurious products in nontraditional retail outlets like online or at curated private events. People no longer want the big retail stores, they want more of an intimate personal experience. That’s why we see a lot of big brands doing smaller pop-ups, or you see major companies going into smaller curated spaces. That’s where luxury is heading. Luxury is going to be about fewer products, smaller stores, more intimate experiences. With CCCXXXIII, we aim to create those experiences.
Are there any collaborations you have going on right now that you can tell us about?
I’m currently curating special projects with Aston Martin and Petrossian. I’m also in conversations with residential and international hotel groups. That’s all I can really discuss right now.