UVA’s Heavy Metal Fashion Icon: Kim Dylla

[MUSIC PLAYING] Well, I’m Kim Dylla. I am a heavy metal seamstress,
and wardrobe tyrant, of rock and metal. I run Kylla Custom
Rockwear, which dresses metal and rock
bands around the world, right here from Charlottesville. I’ve played in
bands for 10 years and always made my
own stage clothes. Through that I made
a lot of friends in the industry and other
bands that were bigger. I was getting three
or four orders a week for several hundred dollars,
just not even trying. For once I was making
something that everyone wanted. I learned how to make it
myself from salvaged leather and materials. I would buy old
thrift store jackets, and cut out the
leather, and put it to control systems, and
paint on it, and destroy it. And a lot of people that
designed things for stage, they make it costume quality. You have to make
it out of really strong, reinforced material. We have dressed, pretty
much, all the big metal bands out there. Machine Head, Children of
Bodom, Cradle of Filth, Dimmu Borgir, Slipknot. No matter what size they
are, and how famous they are, they just have to pay
the same amount of money and get in line. I have a business partner who
works for me full time, now, in Richmond. Her name’s [? Lori ?]
[? Lay, ?] and she’s amazing. She does more of
the sewing, and I do more of the client
interaction and design. Ray Brown is my fashion idol. He dressed Judas Priest, Motley
Crue, and Guns N’ Roses back in their classic, heyday. Definitely UVA fostered
my creative spirit, and confidence, with
coming up with projects. And definitely taught
me to put in long hours working on something. I think it was the
best thing I ever did was just taking
that leap of faith to try to see if I could
support myself with this. It’s great to see
something that I invented, and I started, and
it’s my vision on stage in front of 100,000 people. It’s cool to get
an email from Bob from Texas that ordered his
jacket for his local band and how happy he is with it. That makes it all worthwhile. [MUSIC PLAYING]


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