We met Christopher R King at the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills, a place where he likes to spend time and to have meetings. Walking from the lobby to the Belvedere restaurant, every staff member from the doorman to the manager and hostesses greeted Mr. King where he had a nice word for each of them. We could feel the personal relationships built over the years. Genuine respect and mutual appreciation. During our breakfast, we discussed his true love for craftsmanship and the art of a gentleman. Good manners at its best.
Christopher R. King is a man with a vision. Entrepreneur, visionary, and innovator, he is the founder and creative director of CCCXXXIII, an exclusive and high-quality hand made accessories brand dedicated to respecting the culture of traditional craftsmanship. The brand has recently changed its name to Christopher King™ with plans to expand to jewelry, fragrances, and apparel and will open its first store in the golden triangle neighborhood of Beverly Hills. Christopher’s attention to detail and perfection led him to do prestigious collaborations, from designing a limited edition DBS Superleggera with Aston Martin to King of Clubs, a wine label co-founded with industry leader Robert Mondavi. In our conversation, Christopher shares his true passion for luxury which is not about labels and status but about the respect of craftsmanship, tradition, and longevity behind legacy brands.
Christopher R King: I would describe myself as being authentically me. I am a man who loves being a father, I love the art of a gentleman, I love chivalry. And I would probably describe myself as someone who is a little bit of a renaissance man who appreciates the details in life. Continually always learning I guess is the best way to describe myself.
Christopher R King: I don’t really know the answer to that. It is just something that evolved over time. When I was younger, my mom would say that I would take things apart and try to make them better. It just became an appreciation of mine. As a young kid, I was always fascinated with quality over quantity, the way something was made or how it was manufactured. As I started getting older and started building wealth, I was noticing things that weren’t necessarily crafted maybe the way they should have been. It just became this search for the best quality as opposed to what everyone tells you is the best.
Christopher R King: 333 is a lucky number of mine, like a guiding star. I feel continually led by those numbers and God. These have always been a key to my success, or to my inspiration. When I first started this business with my partner Rob Dyrdek, it was really built out of a passion to create something really unique. The concept behind 333 was figuring out a name that resonated with having a passion and love for Europe.
Every time you travel to Europe, you see these Roman numerals everywhere, it is the way of a stamp of something, the same way in America, we say “Established in”. To me, it was a play on establishing something that was really about centuries ago. The same kind of way where things were done with such deep passion and built for longevity, that was what it meant.
Christopher R King: “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right. “ I think that is very true when you have disbelief or don’t believe in yourself, you are probably not going to get where you want to go.
Another big quote that I have hanging at my house which is: “Watch your thoughts, they become your words; watch your words, they become your actions; watch your actions, they become your habits; watch your habits, they become your character; watch your character, it becomes your destiny.”
A favorite quote is a quote that means the most for the situation that you are telling the person at that given time, so it always can change.
Christopher R King: To me, success is being yourself, being really happy, being around family, being very healthy, and doing the things that really enlighten your soul. And for me those are being with my children and my family at a destination, maybe it’s Lake Como or on a boat somewhere and it’s like the perfect day, everyone is there. The ability to almost make time stand still and enjoy those memories and those moments are what success means to me.
I enjoy the process more than the reward. Why I also build the business and why we are changing it to Christopher King for a legacy brand is because my mission and goal are not to build this up and sell it. My goal is to have the process last for the rest of my life.
Christopher R King: One of the gentlemen at Hermès once gave a definition of luxury, which to me was the most genius way to say it: “True luxury is something that can be repaired.” We live in a world of discarding things, so I thought it was a unique way to look at that.
If we describe it in general, luxury is the art of not manipulating time. For example, we are looking at the Louis XIII bottle sitting over there on the counter. To me, this is a luxury cognac because of the time it takes to make it. Hundred years it is aged before it’s put into that bottle and able to be sipped. They are not trying to find a way to make the same thing in ten years. It is 100 years and that will be that way for as long as the company is around.
Christopher R King: That is a tough one! I would probably say I admire my sons because I am watching them grow up, learn, and figure things out. To me, their ability to learn and be fearless is admirable.
Christopher R King: It would be my faith and my belief in what I do, in myself, and where I am going. And another thing would be my attention to detail.
Christopher R King: Most of my life I have been impatient. I would love to change that as I am getting older but I also know that is what made me who I am today.
Christopher R King: I appreciate certain people that have reached positions in their life that I admire how they got there, their work ethic, or what they stand for but I never really had heroes or icons. If you look at people I appreciate or admire from far would be someone like Frank Sinatra on certain aspects of his life, not the entire thing. Passing Kobe Bryant, I admired his work ethic. Also, I admire a lot of the gentlemen from the 1920s and 1930s and the way they carried themselves, the way they dressed. Some of the late kings that ruled over the world who were men of honor.
To really be influential, you need to be not influenced. Especially today, I am building a brand that stands for timeless in an era where streetwear and leisurewear are ruling the world. If I was an opportunist, I would go in that direction. I am laser-focused on my vision and what I am building, and when I am not focused on doing that, I am focused on my sons.
Christopher R King: It is a question I get asked a lot. I have never had a mentor but there are some people trough my life I have learned and have taken some nuggets from. When I was going through things, there was an attorney, a friend of mine who was encouraging me with words that would be considered to be a mentor. Rob Dyrdek who is my close friend and business partner, there are times when he was mentoring me with things. I am mentored by God as well.
It is really hard to channel this but I really enjoy making decisions on my own, be with my thoughts, have my relationship with God, and process things by myself.
Christopher R King: We all have dreams and thoughts, morning time is a very sacred time. I started to remove my phone from my morning routine when I first wake up in the first 15 to 20 minutes. Then, I am just with my thoughts, prayers, and do some meditation. Remembering my dreams, letting my imagination and my mind dictate and really have an influence on my day and my life. As opposed to getting on my phone and checking Instagram or emails.
Christopher R King: People can have a million opinions about it but the manifestation is the most real thing on the planet. It goes back to the quote, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right”. That is really the boilerplate for manifestation.
My friend Rob once told me this “It is never over with an entrepreneur until you stop believe in yourself.” As long as you believe in your mission, it will always be alive. If I didn’t have so much self-belief, there are multiple times where I would have probably given up, if it wasn’t such a deep passion.
Christopher R King: I think it is making them aware of the privilege that they have by living in Beverly Hills and going to a nice school. This is not how the rest of the world operates. Teaching them to be gentlemen, to be kind and teaching them chivalry, and to be appreciative. It is also a balance, I love my children and do things for them but I won’t spoil them.
Just as much as I give them the fancy dinner at Spago. To have them put on a jacket, and learn how to properly put a napkin on their lap. Sit up straight and chew with your mouth closed which is important to build etiquette for them. It is also important to enjoy a burger stand, working on a farm, or giving back to family and the community. The simplicities of life are essential things to balance out.
Young little men with different levels of testosterone figuring out life and experiences in their own way, pushing boundaries and limits. [laugs] It’s good though, I love being a father!
Christopher R King: All my memories are my best memories. My worst times are my best memories because they taught me things in those situations. My father who left when I was 11 is a great memory, it taught me to be the man I am today. Or seeing my nephew being born, making my first big check-in business, taking my first vacation on my own, having my children, getting married. Even getting divorced was a great memory!
I just see the greatness in everything I have been through in my life, and I think it is a really rare thing where so many people are torn by experiences. You are alive and there are great lessons in that.
Christopher R King: Faith! The storm always goes away. I think sometimes people get so consumed especially in their mind over the current situation not realizing that if you focused on what’s ahead and the plans and steps to get there that’s how you get out of the situation. We can be our own worst enemies in our head and that’s where I believe faith takes over and allows you to see what’s ahead.
As long as you keep moving forward you always move out of adversity it is always temporary this is something I know very well. Remember things happen for us, not to us. For me, I came from humble beginnings, so what is worse? I go back to that so, it has never been so impactful.
When you fall, you have to embrace the fact you are falling and get back up and so many people try to hold themselves up from hitting the bottom. I have seen so many people not really bounce back from failures because they got so caught up and they never really navigate through life.
Life to me, it is like a series of ten doors, and in order to get 10 more doors, you have to close the 10 behind you. In life, people keep doors open and never get new opportunities to get to another level because they continue to have those doors open. There is too much attachment to all these doors that are open and you are preventing yourself from new opportunities. You can use this analogy in so many different ways in life.
Christopher R King: It is fulfilling my belief. What I am here for, to build out the Christopher King brand. That door also consists of finding the right woman in my life. Building a legacy goes hand in hand with having a family.
Christopher R King: Oh my god, I would love more kids! It is not up to me [laughs]. Can I never have kids again and be ok? of course I love my two sons. Could I meet the right person and have more children? sure. Whatever supposed to be is supposed to be.
Christopher R King: I want my kids to do whatever they are passionate about and love. If my kids want to follow in their dad’s footsteps, it is amazing. But if they want to go off and do something completely different that’s amazing too. As long as they are happy! My hope is that I just support their dreams and love them unconditionally. So they don’t have any pressure and are able to do whatever they love to do.
For example, Zachary, my oldest son loves soccer. He is passionate about it and if he grows to be a famous soccer player, it is great! In order to really have a legacy, you have to be proud of what someone did. This is why I try to authentically be myself and practice what I preach.
Christopher R King: I passionately love what I do. My life is built around the leisure of passion and loving what I do. Getting on a plane and heading over to Italy and designing a new collection. To me, it is leisure and at the same time, it is work. It is hard for me to break it apart.
Christopher R King: I love that one! My Italian friend Giampaolo and I went to have dinner at this famous pizza place in New York. We went down to see the kitchen and were sitting there talking and we just decided to have dinner there instead of upstairs. It was a real photo, I really ate this pizza, the wine wasn’t that great but I had a few sips of that wine [laughs]. I usually always carry my Leica Q2 camera with me. So I took the camera to shoot my friend first at that same angle. And then we took some shots of me, and it was the result of that image.
Christopher R King: I was just in Florida to be on a gentleman’s podcast. He is an investor and a client of mine. Before that, I was in Italy, it is my favorite country!
Christopher R King: It depends on spring, summer, winter, lunch, or dinner. Some of the regular places I go to, I enjoy Spago. I know from Wolfgang to the dishwasher, to the hostesses, to the sommeliers. I really enjoy that place and the consistency with that. The Peninsula Hotel as well, I spend a lot of time here.
Besides that, I am close to The Truffle Brothers who have a place in LA. They supply a lot of the truffles and important Italian stuff for the restaurants. And I can tell you what I am excited about! One of my good friends Lorenzo is opening up Pierluigi here in LA, which will be my daily destination.
Christopher R King: I do but it depends. Again, I love passionate, authentically classic things. I feel like a lot of people open these very trendy spots that aren’t built on really anything authentic or passionate. It just depends on what you are looking for.
But I enjoy sticking with the places that I love and I tend to go to those a lot. Also, I enjoy trying new things and new experiences. However, I also would rather try a new city and a new country instead of trying fifty places in LA.
Christopher R King: Yes, I love to cook. Actually, I just cooked last night for some friends over the house. Cooking from scratch you know. Pulling lemons from my lemon tree, rosemary from my garden, and I made this chicken dish that I love to make. I enjoy the freshness of cooking, whole foods made. When I want pesto, I make it from scratch too. Those are the things that I enjoy doing. I enjoy that process. When you change the process or speeding up the process, it is where you end up getting artificialness. And artificial is not good in anything that you do.
Most people don’t want to cook because it takes time. However, I actually enjoy the luxury and the success of being able to spend 3-4 hours to cook a meal, drink some wine. Last time I was teaching the kids how to make meatballs. I was drinking wine with Sinatra and Peggy Lee playing in the background. I am just in the moment, that is life, that is luxury. That’s memories and that is the best of the best.
We are in a world of information rich and experience poor. And back in the days, we were experience rich and information poor. I really believe that goes hand in hand. We learn as human beings and have longer lasting memories of something through an experience than we do through information.
Christopher R King: Honestly, I am just blessed to be able to have lunch today. If I had to answer right now, It would probably be Djordje Stefanovic. He is a friend of mine and I miss him dearly. Haven’t seen him in a while, he lives in New York and we used to have really great lunches together. So I want to have lunch with him!
Christopher R King: I would encourage you to interview the man or the woman who is behind the art of something really incredible and who never gets asked questions.
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