This Barcelona-based designer has mastered haute couture; her designs exude luxurious extravagance and sleek elegance. But there is also brain behind this brands brawn. In addition to her background in business management, Katarina holds a degree from Parsons School of Design in New York. It’s clear why world-renowned names such as Marchesa, Giambattista Valli, and Moncler Gamme Rouge took her under their tutelage. In today’s designer spotlight, we discover the hardships she has faced in the fashion industry and the reason why she cannot stop designing despite the obstacles.
How and why did you start designing?
I have been designing my whole life. It started when I was about 13 or 14. I had ideas that I did not know how to express and started by cutting apart my clothes in order to reproduce them. Of course I had no idea of what a pattern even was, so you can imagine how those first pieces came out. I design because I have a need to express myself and, through my designs, I can share my deepest thoughts in the shape of garments.
What is your biggest hurdle building a brand today?
First and foremost, money. I was lucky enough to have my family’s support when I started, but unfortunately, I came across people who took advantage of me and left me practically broke. So this brings up my second biggest hurdle: finding people to work with whom I can trust.
What is your fashion philosophy?
My goal is to create something timeless. Something that twenty years from now your daughters will want to wear and it will still be in mint condition. I believe in quality. More and more people buy garments that are high quality; this is why I aim to bring back couture: perfect finishings, the best fabrics… I would like to demonstrate to the world that couture can be worn everyday and it doesn’t necessarily mean you are dressed in red-carpet attire; but that even a t-shirt and a pair of jeans can be couture.
Where do you go and what do you do for inspiration?
Inspiration comes naturally to me. It may be on a trip, walking around the streets of my city, visiting a museum, nature, or, many times, in my dreams. For example, my first collection was inspired by New York, the feelings that the city evokes in me. My last one was inspired by the moldings on the walls and ceilings in Versailles and the S-curve in the female body.
What is your brand aesthetic?
Edgy, sophisticated and elegant. Shop Katarina Grey’s pieces.