Femininity and Confidence in Kat The Label

Kat the Label - Codie Zofia

March 2015 saw Kate, founder and designer of Australian Label, Kat the Label take the plunge into starting her own lingerie business. Delicate lace details combine with the empowerment of oneself are the many intricate details making up Kat the Label. Fiercely feminine, yet delicate and intricate it allows every woman to feel confident, feminine and powerful. Compromising of a variety of designs allowing you to be exposed or hidden to suit everyones tastes. Kate believes that lingerie is here to ignite sensuality and confidence. Kate has with no question worked immensely hard to create a label thats foundations are built on the love of lace, details and the love for yourself.  Here we are going to discuss Kat the Label’s story and my experience wearing Kat the Label!

The beginning of Kat the Label

Having been self conscious due to her small bust, Kate turned to wearing padded push up bras. During her three years studying fashion design, a more in-depth knowledge of lingerie and love affair with vintage designs from the 1920’s came to be. This love affair of vintage designs saw her loving her smaller bust. The designs were silk and lace bralettes. No cups, underwires or pushup anywhere. This love inspired Kate to start designing and hand sewing her own lace bralettes at home. She started posting images of her creations on Instagram. Kate soon noticed that people were asking to purchase. The lightbulb then went off. Having had been in her job in design and production for a menswear company for a few months, Kate had the skills to source and produce her designs offshore. The first batch of bras arrived and Kate launched her Instagram and website. Then the rest is history.

Finding inspiration

The inspiration for Kat the Label is seen through the love of vintage architecture such as delicate trims on Victorian style houses, intricate work in ceilings of European churches or to the carved doors in Morocco. Kate’s love of travel plays a major role in the inspiration of creating new pieces. India in particular with embellished sari’s and costumes. More importantly, it is the travel Kate does to China twice a year to source fabrics that assists in inspiration for Kat The Label. The small merchants Kate sources fabric off are unique, forgotten and have an array of wonderful laces that aren’t seen in mainstream lingerie. Due to the merchants having limited amounts and Kat the Label doing smaller orders, the unique laces seen are one offs. Making Kat the Label pieces even more luxurious and special.

Lemonade Bralette Kat the Label - Codie Zofia

The creative process

When designing a new collection, Kate starts with the fabric and the trims. From here she sketches out designs that suit that particular fabric. Once Kate has the fabric foundation and design, she sketches it onto the computer and makes a technical pack to send to her factory. Depending on the design, Kate may make the sample herself in order for the factory to have something to work off directly. Kate sends more designs than she plans to produce to create consistency and to have backups just incase a design doesn’t turn out as planned. Once the first samples are sent, Kate checks them over and makes any changes. If the sample is perfect, this garment is what Kate uses for the photoshoot while the collection is in production. The planning of the photoshoot comes after the samples arrive, in order to make sure the story of the lingerie and location is consistent. It also assists in choosing a model as well, as she has to suit the concept.

How I felt in Kat the Label

I am going to be 100% honest, I am very small busted and it is by far my biggest insecurity. I do struggle with feeling confident and gorgeous in lingerie. While I was editing/looking at these photos it actually made me realise how small busted I am and full disclosure I did have a bit of a cry. With this said, I felt amazing overall wearing these pieces. It is simply the fact that my breasts, or lack of is an insecurity I struggle with. But nonetheless I felt incredibly pretty and feminine in Kat the Label. One thing it taught me is I need to embrace my whole self as I am gorgeous the way I am. I wore the Lemonade bralette and the Orient bralette set.

The Lemonade bralette is a piece I have had my eyes on for a very long time. Because who doesn’t love mesh and glitter? The soft mesh cups are accented with glitter motifs. A gold clasp, satin under bust and adjustable straps add a luxe and comfortable touch.

You can’t go past the Orient bralette set. I am a lover for all things intricate. I appreciate and admire the details within lingerie. Hence why I fell in love with this set. A oriental spin on traditional white lingerie. It features tassels inspired by non-other than high end couture with a nod to the east. The tops two banded back is stunning. I can’t forget to mention the matching underwear. The same lace detailing and tassels, featuring mesh for a subtly cheeky bottom.

Orient Bralette Set Kat the Lable - Codie Zofia

Advice for upcoming lingerie designers

Starting with your customer, what they are looking for and how that fits into the market is vital. Kate explains that there are a heap of lingerie or bralette labels on Instagram, but they all look the same. Due to this, Kate states that finding your niche is incredibly important to assist in the direction of your business.
“Find out who you are as a designer and how your pieces are going to inspire people and stand out in the crowd, then build the loyal base of followers, Don’t copy other peoples work – you need to be unique.”

The struggles

Like all businesses Kate is still encountering struggles. The easiest time was the beginning of Kat the Label while Kate was still at her full time job. This is due to the risk being lower. As the business grows, each decision is more important as the risk becomes larger. Working with reliable manufacturers offshore was and still is a struggle. Kate is getting a handle of working alongside manufacturers. However, as her orders increase so does the risk of an unreliable factory affecting the process.
Kate’s experience with copy cats came to light in the early stages of Kat The Label. Accounts reposting images claiming they sold the same bras. Even a influencer with over one million followers did this when Kate had around 2,000 followers. Needless to say Kate was heartbroken that people take credit for all her hard work on such a huge platform. Due to being more established, a consistent design vision and loyal followers if someone reposts her work without credit someone notifies her.

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Kat the Label

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