Our Origin Story


The Smells Like Crime story isn't too complicated. In spring 2020 when the pandemic hit Kinley moved in with me. We finished our respective semesters from my living room couch, watching a lot of Dexter, eating a lot of vegan burgers, and writing a lot of papers.

When the semester ended and we both went back to work, we ended up sharing a closet for convenience; we're the same size and we both have a fairly expressive sense of style, so the arrangement worked well. Over the years we've spent time searching for and collecting unique pieces, but honestly, it's difficult to do without spending buckets of money or doing an extremely time-consuming internet deep dive. For these reasons most of our best pieces came from thrift stores, obscure online listings, or the occasional gem retail shop. Essentially, we were at the mercy of good luck and creativity to expand our repertoire, but that strategy didn't lend itself to a dependable method. Instead, we often found ourselves with clothes that didn't make us feel good in our skin - especially at school or other events - and we hadn't even faced the biggest challenge yet.Unfortunately, as we entered the adult work-force we realized that having an expressive style wasn't just difficult, it was damn near impossible. Given the nature of business wear, we struggled even more than before to come up with professional but unique looks. Even our years of collecting and refining our wardrobes couldn't fully remedy the issue. That was when we first conceptualized Smells Like Crime.

Living together made us unstoppable. After some mad summertime creating and collaborating we had a plan for our very own clothing label - We just needed a name. I contracted COVID-19 in July of 2020 and completely lost my sense of smell. One day a few months later, Kinley and I were walking the dog when she suddenly scrunched her nose and remarked "do you smell that?" I couldn't smell a damn thing so I said "No, what does it smell like?" She couldn't identify it, so after a few moments I offered, "smells like crime?"

We looked at each other and knew right then that we had a name, and dead-ass that's the story.