He is a creator, a businessman dedicated to excellence and exclusivity. We called him “King” but Christopher R. King is beyond the king. He puts his hand to work to make his desires realities. On the occasion of the launch of his collection of ultra limited edition bags, available in the most beautiful places in the world, Christopher R. King talks about his career and his company CCCXXXIII.
Could please tell us about your professional background?
I am a self-made man. I created my fortune from hard work, dedication and the belief that there was something better out there. In the beginning, I started with small businesses and then later got into real estate. When that industry changed, I shifted my direction. I was very successful as an investor, but I didn’t find the fulfillment that I wanted. I decided to follow my passion and start investing in myself. I had to put myself out there like, “this is my dream, my real passion and what I believe I was born to do.” That is what pushed me to create my first wine label and then finally, my limited edition, luxury company, CCCXXXIII.
Can you tell us more about your achievements?
Achievements to me are just part of the process. Sure, I have hit goals, sold companies etc. But I think the definition for achievement is different for me than others. To me, being able to remove all obstacles and follow my true passion is one of the greatest achievements in my life. I am living the life I have always dreamed about. To be able to design, collaborate and create functional works of art through my company CCCXXXIII, and even someday make wine again, that is a real achievement.
What have been the biggest difficulties during your career?
The biggest difficulty for me was not having mentors around me to show me the way. I think in the beginning, I felt like I had to prove that I could do it alone. I did it, but boy did I learn things the hard way. I feel like I lost a lot of myself along the way. No one does it alone. If they say that they do, they are lying. Once I let go of my ego and started seeking mentors and “like-minded” people, it changed everything. I only wish I had known this when I started my career at 18 years old.
What is your daily job?
My focus is being a single father and creating a legacy for my children. At my company, CCCXXXIII, I am constantly perfecting designs, creating new ideas and projects.
Since my work includes global travel, I may be in Italy one day working with my staff on my latest designs and home in Beverly Hills the next day working with my team to roll out the next collection. I oversee every detail in the business, especially designs and marketing. When I am not working, I enjoy my time with my two sons, just being a father. Being with them is one of my greatest joys. I often involve them in the creative process and include them. I think it is important to make them part of their father’s journey. They love when we break out the pencils and draw new ideas. They inspire me.
According to you, what are the skills required to be designer and Creative Director?
Passion, passion and more passion.
What motivated you to become a Designer?
I have always loved art and design. Since I was a young child, it has been my escape. When most kids were playing with toys, I was in my room painting or drawing out the ideas in my head. I would even take apart a television and put it back together or take a household product and figure out how to improve it. As a consumer of luxury items, I always spent time with the creators and designers and loved talking through the process on how it could be created or developed to improve the function, while sustaining the design. I am constantly inspired through traveling the world, walking through historic buildings, museums and galleries and intrigued by the quality and craftsmanship that were put into these works of art.
But it wasn’t until I had the final push from a dear friend of mine, Rob Dyrdek that I finally took the next step. He told me, “You need to do this, you are a creative luxury founder who was born for this.” That moment, it sparked a feeling I had never felt before and I decided to never look back. There is no greater feeling in the world than doing what I am doing now.
What kind of « boss » are you?
Driven and demanding, but always respectful and compassionate. My staff are like extended family and I spend a lot of time with them.
What do you expect from the people who work with you?
I expect them to work just as hard, if not harder than I do. I also expect them to believe in what they are doing. If you don’t believe, then you won’t push through the difficult times. I expect work ethic, passion, vision and attitude to always be on point. The most important of all is their energy! With the right energy and attitude, you can accomplish ANYTHING.
To get there, which were the major difficulties that you had to overcome?
Doing business abroad – communication and timing. I have a tendency to work at a very fast pace, something my friends and colleagues call “King Speed”. So, a major difficulty was learning patience through the process of creating the very best in luxury.
Which are your working methods with your team?
Generating a plan and clearly establish your end goal and start with the end in mind. The person who knows exactly what they want in business and in life will always get what they want. A business will have a hard time moving the needle if it lacks a clear plan for the various steps in its lifecycle. There is an old saying, “people don’t plan to fail; they fail to plan.” I believe this is true and that it is the same in business. I have always had a plan. Someone once told me that it is better to make a decision and be wrong, than to never make a decision at all. A good plan is not a set course that a business must run by. Rather, it is a general direction that gives you an idea of how and when to adapt for change and what your goals will be.
Can you tell us what CCCXXXIII is? How did your story with CCCXXXIII start?
CCCXXXIII is creating the world’s most extraordinary, functional works of art. It’s a dedication to old world traditions and craftsmanship. It’s a company that introduces ground-breaking innovation in design and showcases my extreme passion for detail. It’s apromise of limitation to only three hundred thirty-three pieces of each collection. Only 333 pieces will ever be produced in each collection, which we release in three tiers of increasing collectable value—three hundred in the first, thirty in the second, and only a rare three in the third.
It is an unwavering commitment to quality and perfection. My mission is to rectify and redefine the world of luxury once only enjoyed by the aristocracy of centuries passed.
I originally set out to create the perfect bag for myself. After buying over 100 luxury briefcases, bags and attaché cases, I was frustrated that I could not find something that really met all of my needs. I wanted something that made a statement but was functional and would work well for travel. That is how it all began. Once I started sharing with a few friends, they started asking for one of their own. It just took off from there.
Who are your competitors? What are the main differences between them and you?
I don’t believe there are any, we are doing something very unique.
What have been the biggest difficulties during your project CCCXXXIII?
My keen attention to detail, not everyone can notice the subtleties that I do. Everything must be perfect.
Who are your clients? What do they expect?
The CCCXXXIII client is a hugely successful, well-travelled, experienced luxury connoisseur. Is either a self-made mogul, a celebrity, a high-level politician, an extremely high-level executive, or an aristocrat. They are a Mover and a Shaker and a Deal Maker. The CCCXXXIII client is an international person on-the-go, who knows what they want, and demands the very best, because they’ve earned it.
What are your ambitions for the future?
Designing a variety of collectable and functional art that I am passionate about. I’m a big collector of cigars and have several of the world’s rarest cigars. I’m also building up an incredible collection of Scottish single malts and rare cognacs. I am still VERY passionate about wine and winemaking. I am looking forward to collaborations with cars, watches and planes. I love caviar and feel it’s a space that has some opportunities. To me, I am keeping my options open. But I always know when is the right one.
What is your greatest personal achievement?
Starting CCCXXXIII and being a father!
New Collection by Christopher R. King
The precious, Julian – Limited to 300 copies – Price: US $ 9,750 Handcrafted from the finest leather, the Julian is a secure attaché case with magnetic coin closures dipped in pure gold. With a width of 43 cm, the case is lined with suede of superior quality. It has compartments for laptop and tablet. Three large interior pockets and a penholder on the front of the case accompany two large zipped compartments, each lined with suede and quality for your valuables. The Julian is made in only three hundred copies.
The elegant Constantine – Price: US $ 35,000 Handcrafted in Italy, from South Africa’s finest ostrich and the most sought-after skin for its perfectly balanced textured pattern, the Constantine Bag was created with a seamless design. The Constantine model is made in only thirty copies.
The most exclusive, Imperium – 3 copies – US $ 175,000 The Imperium has been an attaché case embodying a kind of luxury known only by royalty during the past centuries. Created with hand-selected Australian saltwater porosal crocodile skins, the attachment is secured by a solid gold coin closure stamped with a crown. Three gold bars support the base of the bag and help to protect the exotic skin. With its 53 cm wide, the bag is lined with suede of superior quality. The interior is divided to put a laptop and a tablet. Three large interior pockets and a penholder were also thought. In the back, two large zipped compartments lined with shaved mink receive your most valuable items. The Imperium is published in only three copies. To order, click here