Brad Kimball is the creative mind behind the Creature and Contra. A Winnipeg native, Brad made his way to Calgary to pursue his creative passions and be closer to his friends. It was in 2014 when he started dabbling with leather and creating small accessories such as wallets, key chains, and clutches that developed into Creature. In 2019, Brad founded Contra, a one-off project that evolved into a brand of its own that now offers a diverse range of apparel and accessories.
In anticipation of the Creature / Contra pop-up at GOAT, we had a chat with Brad about his creative process, finding inspiration, and plans for the future.
GOAT: Tell us about Contra and Creature. What inspired you to pursue these projects?
BRAD: Contra and Creature are both projects that exist in the world of design, manufacturing, and retail. I design and create the products for both brands. Constantly refining and obsessing over every detail that goes into them.
I started Creature in 2014, I discovered high quality leather products and became obsessed with products that could last the rest of your life. Since then I’ve diversified the product range and now work primarily with canvas, making different accessories.
Contra was created in 2019. I was in a bit of a low, and channeling what I was going through into a personal project to help pull myself out of that space. Originally the brand was called contrasadboyclub and was meant to only be one small capsule of products. A handful of embroidered sweaters, totes and a few crossbody bags. But I really loved the community of people that showed love to the brand and had a lot of fun with it so I decided to keep giving it energy.
GOAT: Are there any experiences, people, places, or things that have inspired you recently?
BRAD: Lately I’ve been inspired by texture. I was recently on Vancouver island and felt very inspired by the texture and colours of moss.
GOAT: Contra and Creature are both separate projects. Is there a reason you've kept both separate?
BRAD: I kept them separate because they both represent very different things to me. I didn’t want to make one of them something it didn’t organically feel like it was meant to be. The way I see them, Creature exists in a more clean, minimal environment and Contra doesn’t have a set environment.
GOAT: What are you looking forward to seeing at the Creature / Contra pop-up at GOAT?
BRAD: I always enjoy seeing people and how they interact with my work and the details they notice.
GOAT: What do you enjoy most about the creative process?
BRAD: Seeing an idea come to life for the first time is a feeling I think I'll forever be chasing. There’s something special about going from an idea or thought to a finished product that someone else can appreciate.
GOAT: What’s the move for the future?
BRAD: Future things, introducing more colour and texture into my work. I would love to do some kind of installation art piece this year. Hoping to do a few more popups this summer as well so keep a look out for those!
GOAT: What’s one piece of advice you’d like to give to someone who’d like to start their own brand or business?
What I've learned is that you have to really care about what you’re doing and it has to be important and fulfilling to you. A lot of people get into this industry because they think it’s “cool.” That isn’t going to be enough, you have to really care about it.
Select pieces from Creature and Contra will be available at GOAT beginning March 25.