Elizabeth Khuri of the Los Angeles Times recently interviewed MÖTLEY CRÜE bassist Nikki Sixx and Kelly Gray, of the St. John line of durable knits for ladies, about Royal Underground, their men's clothing line, which Bloomingdale's, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and other mainstream retailers will begin stocking in late October.
When Gray, 39, met Sixx, 47, for the first time this year, he was in full MÖTLEY CRÜE regalia, and she was wearing Gucci and Prada. "He scared me," she says. "Before the first concert I had Googled MÖTLEY CRÜE and looked at their Web page, and the Web page looked so scary I said I couldn't go." But her friend Tommy Lee, MÖTLEY CRÜE's drummer, had invited her, so she gathered her courage and watched from a distance, safe near the lighting booth. When Lee introduced her to Sixx, "I called him Mr. Sixx and he never corrected me," she says and makes a face. The two bonded over lunch in late June. They went shopping together at stores from her world — Beverly Hills haunts like Neiman's and Saks — and discovered how much they have in common, including a love for luxurious fabrics and an appreciation for the details that make a garment work. That's when they decided the world could use another high-end menswear collection. "We thought there was an opening," Gray says, "to take the inspiration and the spirit of the rock industry, but do it with a twist. Real rock stars."
Because they threw the upcoming collection together in about a month — designing the clothes, picking the fabrics, contracting with manufacturing plants, sealing deals with retailers, planning a marketing campaign — Sixx had to be a fast learner. "I'm a sponge for information," he says. "If you understand how it works from the bottom up, you can understand how the top works." He cites as his role model his uncle Don Zimmerman, who started out sweeping floors at Capitol Records and worked his way up to president.
Read more at the Los Angeles Times.