Comfort breeds confidence, or so goes the motto of our latest designer Katie Stevens of K.Stevens brand. With an appreciation for the highest quality fabrics and a contemplative nature behind her design, Katie combines twill blends with the cultural blends inspired by where East met West on the historic Silk Road. After graduating Lasell already with a swimwear business under her belt, Katie is concentrating on launching her ready-to-wear womenswear line with a sophistication well beyond her years and see where her journey takes us.
How and why did you start designing?
I was always drawn to design. I told my mom I wanted to be a fashion designer when I was about six, and I was always sketching little dresses when I was a kid. I think the idea of making something really beautiful, that would make me feel beautiful was what drew me in.
What is your fashion philosophy?
Your clothes should make you feel like the most confident version of yourself, and the most “you” version of you.
How has your design changed over time?
When I started designing, I was mainly sketching evening gowns. Over time, I’ve started doing more everyday pieces. No one can wear evening gowns all the time! (I wish, though.)
What inspired your latest collection?
My latest collection, Merge, was inspired by the Silk Road being the connection between the Eastern and Western world, historically. It was the idea of making that journey, and the way culture might blend together.
What is your biggest hurdle building a brand today?
My biggest hurdle is probably getting a fashion brand started with very limited funds – using only high-quality fabrics is very important to me. I feel like that’s the base of every garment, and what really contributes to the experience of wearing it. On top of that, financing all the things that go along with the collection can be difficult.
What do you think about fashion today?
I think fashion today is fabulous. I love what I see when I look at the styles bloggers and influencers are putting together lately. I feel like they aren’t afraid to wear something new and different.
The thing that bothers me is the fact that the fashion industry can be very disconnected from current events, and is one of the most wasteful industries. I want to see more designers following sustainable models and limiting their waste. We’re finally starting to see more inclusion and body positivity (slowly but surely!), so adding sustainability to these positive changes would be amazing. Currently, I’m donating 1% of my profits to a charity that supports hurricane relief, and I would like to work on my own sustainability even more in the future.
Where do you go and what do you do for inspiration?
I’m very visual, so I collect images that grab my attention for any reason, and draw inspiration from those, whether it be from shape or color or just a general idea. I’m also very inspired by history and culture, so I sometimes do research based on that, as well as look back on my own travel experiences.
Any tips and tricks of the trade?
The most important maxim I follow is “always try to be better than yesterday,” in all of my endeavors.
Another tip is to not give up, though things may get frustrating. This is a difficult industry to break into – I can say from experience – but it’s important to persevere. You don’t want to give up the day before your big break comes.
Shop the new Merge collection by K.Stevens.