Ali Jeffery profiles Kätlin Kikkas, the sustainably minded designer who recently showed her collection at the 2017 Mercedes Benz Kiev Fashion Days. 

Photo: Sandra Palm
Photo: Sandra Palm

Kätlin Kikkas launched her sustainably minded label KÄT with a motivation to bring more interesting workwear to the market, creating something women can feel confident and proud to wear at the office. Growing up in Estonia, Kätlin was encouraged to be imaginative and explore her surroundings. Inspired by both her mother and aunt working in the fashion industry, Kätlin chose to pursue an education in fashion at the Euroacademy in Tallinn, which led to work as a stylist and visual merchandiser. With a strong will and a creative spirit, her label KÄT has found acclaim, recently showing at the 2017 Mercedes Benz Kiev Fashion Days. We learn more about Kätlin’s aesthetic and inspirations.

The Fashion Conversation: How would you describe your design aesthetic? And what materials do you work with most?
Kätlin Kikkas: My design is functional and sustainable. I choose to keep the silhouettes minimal and avoid strong trends to give the pieces a sense of timelessness. I also think that by styling the pieces in different ways, they make a versatile wardrobe. I love wool because it has so many angels and it starts living with each design. I also love the colour in wool, it’s never to bright and can be mixed together.

TFC: How do you see your latest collection different from previous years? What inspired you most this season?
KK: I believe this collection is 100% me. I put in everything I had and I believe in it. I had more time to think everything through, finding the perfect fabrics and designing from my heart. I think music influences me the most, as well as the fabrics that I am using. I can always see the whole collection when I am seeing and feeling the right fabric. For this collection in particular, I was inspired alot by soul music, 60’s gangster movie posters and warm Scandinavian fabrics.

TFC: Can you tell us about your experience at the 2017 Mercedes Benz Kiev Fashion Days?
KK: This was the first time I showed my collection abroad. It was a really great experience for me, to see how fashion industry works in Kiev. The crew was lovely, the stage was beautiful, and I received some great feedback from a room full of fashion lovers.

TFC: What’s next, both for yourself and the KÄT brand?
KK: I would like to take KÄT abroad to a bigger market. But not too big – I love Estonia and would ultimately like to stay here. Bigger for me means more designs, more shows and more cool people to work with. I would even like to pursue study in menswear.

TFC: Who is your favourite designer at the moment and why?
KK: I actually don’t have a favourite designer of the moment. It’s not that I don’t have respect for others, but because I am looking at archive magazines more than current issues.

TFC: What gets you out of bed in the morning?
KK: My alarm clock and my hungry cat!

About Ali Jeffery
London based contributor Ali Jeffery calls Australia home but made the move to London to study postgraduate journalism at the London College of Fashion and is now working at MATCHESFASHION.COMAli loves gin, decorating her flat in East London and of course, discovering emerging designers.