Creative Class: Renee Kohl, Noble Denim and Victor Athletics


For our April 2017 issue, we examine how creatives are remaking the Queen city.

Age: 28

Company: Noble Denim (“Chris [Sutton, cofounder] named it after his great-grandfather.”) and Victor Athletics

Job: Designer and shop manager

The goal: Making the perfect jeans, in a socially responsible way. And with Victor Athletics: sweatshirts, tees, and more. “We’re driven by quality and detail and we’re applying those principles to every new product we tackle.”

Renee Kohl

Portrait by Aaron M. Conway

The gig: Creating branding and web design, managing social media, day-to-day store operations, merchandising (“I love transforming a space with product placement or layout”), individual denim fittings. “Getting people fitted in jeans is so fun—trying on raw denim is no easy feat. And getting anything made to order and tailored can feel stuffy and intimidating. So making customers comfortable, asking questions, and keeping it casual is the most gratifying part of what I do. It’s even more fun getting the final product in the customer’s hands.”

On staying fresh: “I find inspiration in art and product design. My profession is so computer-heavy, with the exception of some drawing. So looking at paintings, especially the works of color-field expressionists, refreshes me. I love tactile works as well: A beautifully designed chair or a coffee mug that’s just so perfect to hold—that’s good stuff.”

Her advice: “For a designer who’s stuck—I’ve been there plenty of times! Step back for a moment. I’m usually stuck because I’m overthinking it. Oftentimes, the solution is simple.”

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