We had the good fortune of connecting with Killian Hagen and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Killian, is your business focused on helping the community? If so, how?
In May of 2020, Bruce & Olive started making masks for the community. We knew we couldn’t only make these for profit, we had to give back at the same time. I’m passionate about helping our homeless, people of color, and queer communities in Austin, and after doing some research, I found two local nonprofits that I felt shared the company’s values and were directly impacting people in need. For each one sold, we donated one to these two organizations:
What should our readers know about your business?
My business, Bruce & Olive, is a line of eco-friendly basics for men and women. I created this line because living in south Texas, it is hard to function for the 8 months of the year that it is pretty warm. I wanted clothing that I could live in year round, day to night, for a multitude of activities. Still have a semblance of style in the warmer months, but wear clothing that worked for me and my body. The more I had read about the fashion industry, and all of its associated waste, I knew a real impact would be made from clothing that not only feels and looks good, but is also good for the earth and for you. With that in mind, every piece is made from eco-friendly materials, and I pay particular attention to the entire supply chain and manufacturing process to ensure that is always top of mind. Of course Bruce & Olive can be even MORE sustainable/eco-friendly, but it is absolutely top of mind for each piece, and I’m proud of the suppliers and manufacturers I have assembled for a consciously-made product (and the material is UNBELIEVABLY soft too). The company is named after my parents, Bruce and Olive Hagen, who tragically both passed away from cancer between 2009-2015. Since they passed away, I had been looking for a way to dedicate something meaningful to them. They lived full, adventurous, and rich lives, and the clothing I designed for Bruce & Olive was for those who live the same way. The spirit of my parents matched the spirit of the brand and the way I and my friends live, and the intention behind the clothing—to liberate you from choice and stress with clothing that has broad application. With the added fact that it’s a mens and womens line, naming it “Bruce & Olive” seemed to be a no=brainer. Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Austin tends to boil down to three main activities in my opinion (pre-covid that is): Outside, Food & Drink, and Live Music. With that in mind, if someone was here for a week, weekend one it would have to be:
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’ll give my shoutout to my friend Jimmy Sansone, high school friend and founder of The Normal Brand, who helped me understand this industry and navigate my way through it in the first couple years (and still!) as I had a million questions and no idea what to do. He also started at the same place, so it’s been amazing to have an example of success, and a mentor in that along the way. I was so amazed at his career pivot to fashion—and making it incredibly successful—that I’ve always believed I could do it too. Any time I reach out to him, he’s more than happy to jump on a call and help me out however he can. I’ve really appreciated and been grateful for his guidance along the way.
@brennajoyphotography (https://www.brennajoy.com), @redridinghoodproductions , @cassandrajkphotography