Inside Kinfolk Studios: Bikemakers and Bartenders

Kinfolk is a four-year-old firm founded by four friends; though they have a hand in various projects, including a Tokyo lounge, their flagship product is bicycles. “We’re all avid cyclists, but we feel the appeal of bikes goes beyond the hardcore enthusiast,” co-founder Ryan Carney tells us. “Learning to ride a bike is the first childhood rite of passage and the most universal form of transportation there is. Possibly the one thing all cultures agree upon is the bicycle. They’re functionally beautiful, and a perfect combination of engineering, art, and usefulness.” The four come from different backgrounds: illustration, fashion, engineering, interiors. “What we all share is a taste for classic handcrafted quality,” Carney continues. “In all of our work, from the physical spaces to the materials we use, typography and logos, our main aesthetic concern is timelessness and longevity. Would it have looked good 20 years ago? Will it look good 20 years from now?”

The group also operates a coffee shop/art space in Williamsburg that also serves cocktails. Is that because, we ask, everything in Brooklyn nowadays also has to be a bar? “We just want to have a social component to our business,” Carney says. “We’ve learned from our experience with the lounge in Japan that there’s no substitute for the energy created by having new people in your space everyday. It has the added advantage of letting people get to know us on a personal level. And on top of all that, it’s just more fun.”


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