MEET R DESIGNER: KATE, KNITWEAR DESIGNER SPINNING WASTE INTO WANT
One meeting with British emerging designer Kate and you’re hooked; either on her or her knitwear. Or both. With her degree in Fine Arts from The University of Brighton under her cap, a career in sustainable knitwear wasn’t initially at the forefront. But what was a passionate hobby grew into a fully-fledged knitwear career, which is strongly embedded by Kate’s ethical principles that were triggered by the 2013 deadly Rana Plaza factory collapse. Later, Kate returned to study on her Fashion Knitwear MA course at Nottingham Trent University to immerse herself in sustainable design research. Soon afterwards, her convincing victory at Redress’ 2017 sustainable design competition cycle, and her resulting prize to design for The R Collective with an upcoming exclusive collection for Lane Crawford, catapulted Kate’s career sky-high.
Kate’s Pop Collection, created with knitwear brand partners, 22 Factor, features 14 upcycled knitwear styles for women and men that are re-imagined on classic, timeless silhouettes of sweaters, coatigans, roll-necks to sleeveless sweater dresses. Her fun, retro Pop Collection was inspired by both her fine arts background - she loves 1960’s pop art paintings featuring block colours and shapes and the 1980’s Memphis Design Movement of vibrant patterns - and by her fascination with the juxtaposition of urban and nature within Hong Kong. Kate then applied her knowledge of high-tech sustainable knitting technology – for which she freely admits to being a knitting nerd – ensuring all garments were created using zero-waste techniques. Together with partners 22 Factor, we sourced a variety of quality waste yarn fibres, including high quality cottons to cashmere and viscose silk. The result is a highly wearable and comfortable collection that calls for statement to subtle styling that can be wrapped up or worn with lighter layers that are suitable for multiple seasons and occasions.
Kate’s Pop Collection is available on our ecommerce platform from 19th January for delivery in early February 2018. And in true Kate style, her Pop Collection also wowed Lane Crawford, Asia’s leading iconic luxury department store, and her resulting exclusive collection for Lane Crawford will be store later in March, no doubt charming fashion lovers as she continues her unstoppable path forwards.