Kate, Founder & Designer at Kat the Label
Meeting Kate was purely accidental. It was an organic conversation and the opportunity presented itself. Going into this conversation, we didn't know what her insta-famous products looked like and when Kate shared it with us, we were in complete shock by the quality and the delicate and sexy pieces looked.
Get to know the woman behind Kat the Label in today's Spotlight below:
Kate, we start our Spotlights all the same - what did you wanted to be when you grow up?
Oddly enough I had this obsession with being an archaeologist when I grew up! I think it was because of my love of history & antiques and discovering the stories behind old items.
Definitely did not have the science brain behind me to back that one up haha.
Can you share a little bit about your background and what inspired that “aha” moment for you to create Kat the Label?
I first discovered sewing and fashion when I was about 15- I was a tiny kid so none of my clothes would ever fit properly. I started altering a lot of my clothes and moved onto sewing things from scratch. Once I got to university I was studying journalism and realized nope, fashion is where my passion is so I switched courses and studied fashion design and tech at RMIT.
I studied fashion design there for 3 years, and within that time we had a semester on lingerie, which is where I fell in love with the fabrics, intricate details and the art of lingerie pieces. I’d never really considered lingerie before that point and I am so glad I did!
After finishing university I was a little lost in what I wanted to do for my career, and was tinkering around on my sewing machine as usual and made a pretty little lace bralette (the Serendipity bralette that is my biggest seller today!). I’d put photos on Instagram and share my creations with friends, and that’s when random people would start to follow me and request to purchase. And it all really happened so organically through there.
We saw that you’re in ASOS Marketplace - that must be huge! Would you consider that as one of the many of your successes? (If not, please share).
ASOS Marketplace was really cool, they found me through instagram and asked if I’d like to be part of the community. I’d say it’s a bit too early to tell for direct sales, but it’s amazing for brand awareness, and has provided me with many other press and wholesale opportunities in a short period of time.
I would say Instagram has been the main driver in my growth and one of the businesses best successes. It’s a space I can communicate with my audience, receive real time customer feedback, gauge an idea of what designs are more popular for future development & is the main channel that my wholesale accounts have found me- (ASOS marketplace included!) and the number one traffic driver to my website.
Other than that the biggest success so far would have to be featuring in UK Vogue in the September Issue. Though it was only tiny, they contacted me and asked if I’d like to feature, which as a designer is the ultimate dream!
Women are often critiqued and criticized on the what they wear, especially if it’s “too sexy” or “too revealing.” Kat encourages women to embrace it. What is your best advice on owning one’s sexuality and building confidence?
Absolutely, we want all our shoppers to embrace wearing their lingerie however they want to. Whether its exposed lace or just worn underneath to bring extra confidence each day, we think if you’re feeling good on the inside, then this will affect the way you feel and act on the outside.
My best advice for owning your sexuality and building your confidence, is really being mindful of what you wear under your clothes everyday. Even if it’s to work, or a drink with the girls, we find lingerie can be a huge confidence booster & there doesn’t have to be an ulterior motive in the lingerie you select to wear each day.
That leads to our next question - what does “confidence” mean to you and why is it important to channel this in your brand?
Confidence to me means feeling empowered or in control, which comes back to embracing and wearing your lingerie how you want, not how other people want.
We found that our target audience is looking for an extra hit of confidence in her life. Whether it be in her career, relationship, family life or social life. Her main priority is not solely sexuality but confidence, and she can find that confidence through her lingerie.
What is your number one advice you’d share for aspiring designers?
My number one advice would be original. Stick to your aesthetic and don’t get confused or influenced by other designers. Just because its popular for one brand does not mean that it will work for you (and that means staying away from pinterest!).
Take the time to master what your aesthetic is & experiment, I try a new ‘different’ piece every season with Kat to see how well it’s received, sometimes you’ll be surprised at what people buy and what they don’t.
Also, sew and sketch your heart out. I couldn’t add up the amount of time I’ve stayed up all night sewing or sketching random ideas that come to mind. If you have the technical skill of sewing it makes design that much easier, as you know what is possible and how construction works.
And lastly, keep in mind its hard. Otherwise everyone would have fashion labels! Stick too it, keep persistent and your tribe will find you.
What’s next for you and Kat the Label?
Kat is still a tiny business, and I am hoping next we get that growth spurt that takes us to the next level! This means more beautiful staff, expand out ranges and products, take a punt on the USA & where would we be without an insta-worthy design studio of course!!
To stalk Kat The Label (like we have) you can do so here.
For our ladyfriends, use CNNEKT15 for 15% off items over $30
Introduction by Chary. Interviewed by Chary + Emily