With their whimsical, intricate, and boldly colored embroidery, each Kilometre tunic possess a distinct joie de vivre, and it’s easy to see why upon meeting the label’s exuberant founder, Alexandra Senes. One could literally describe her as all over the place—but in a good way. Born in Dakar, Senegal, and raised in New York and Paris, where she currently lives, Senes is a truly global citizen and says she’s “as comfortable at a dinner in L.A. with Karl Lagerfeld as I am with embroiderers in an Afghani village.”
The concept for Kilometre came about when Senes stumbled upon the perfect vintage tunic at a flea market in Paris and found herself wearing it all the time—with bare feet or heels, depending on where she was—so she went back and bought the vendor’s entire stock of shirts. “I had this brand in my head for years. It gathers everything I’ve learned in 20 years of fashion and editorial,” she tells The Window. She decided to celebrate specific neighborhoods, streets, or small islands discovered through her travels, interpreting them through hand-embroidered designs.
Senes works directly with women in Mexico on the hand embroidery. “Kilometre is celebrating travel through fashion and celebrating the hand,” she says. “The embroidery is really at the core of the brand, and it’s taken me so many places: Pakistan, Morocco, Mexico. I think the luxe of tomorrow is folk and artisanal elements. Hiring women who are used to embroidering in a traditional way and asking then to apply their skills in a totally new context is truly fun for everyone.”
Now, the collections are comprised of a mix of the original vintage pièces uniques and vintage-inspired shirts produced in India, like the ones carried at Barneys. Each shirt comes with a guide that highlights the specific area depicted in the shirt. In honor of our new Downtown Flagship, Senes created an Exclusively Ours Chelsea style. “The architecture and development happening in this area is so exciting: The Whitney, the High Line, and—of course—Barneys!”
Prior to launching Kilometre last year, Senes spent eight years as editor of Jalouse, before spending a few years running own consultancy and doing trend forecasting. Over the last two decades, she’s cultivated a deep understanding of cities and has contributed to magazines ranging from Elle to The Economist on the subject of cultural trends.
“Whether it be fashion, architecture, or food—I’m very good at spotting how a city moves. I’ve had this intuition since I was a child,” she explains. “Someone once called me défricheuse, which means someone who can clear the weeds. I can go into the jungle and find my way very easily. I’ve also been called a déchiffreuse, which means I can read between lines.”