Growing up, sisters Melanie (left) and Amanda Kain often fought over their stepmom’s velvety vintage tee from a Georgia club called The Limelight. Amanda, who had wanted to be a designer ever since she first visited Melrose in the eighties, set her sights on recreating that beloved shirt, and, after graduating from FIDM in 2005, she started developing basic T-shirts in not-so-basic textures.
Her big sis Melanie wore one of the creations into an L.A. boutique, and of course, the buyer immediately stopped her to ask where she could get her hands on the collection. “I actually thought to myself, ‘Maybe the salesperson will see my T-shirt and compliment me on it,’ and it would be nice to know that the tees Amanda created were as special as we thought they were,” Melanie explains. “Then I heard a voice from behind me say, ‘I really love your shirt. Where did you get it?’ That’s how we got out first order.”
In 2008, the girls officially launched Kain Label, with Amanda focusing on the creative aspects and Melanie heading up the business side. In just a few short years, the line evolved from a quartet of tees to a line filled with cutout tanks, sheer-paneled tops, and graphic shorts. But don’t worry—those perfect T-shirts are still in the mix, too. —monica derevjanik
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