I had the chance to do an interview with Kati Scott who is the owner of Kati 23Ô2. The brand creates ‘original hand knit pieces using beautiful and natural yarns with vintage findings.’ As soon as I saw the collection I thought it was lovely and wanted to know more about the brand. Check out Kati’s website at http://www.kati2302.com/#!about for some lovely knitted works of art.
Firstly, how and why did you start your business?
I got the idea of the “knitlace” ( a name I came up with for knitted necklaces) when I did my BFA show at FIT in 2008 ( I specialized in knitwear design) I actually started the first “knitlace” by experiment because I was knitting a piece for the show with metal chains and various yarns. I had this beautiful cashmere tape yarn I wanted to do something with but didn’t know what yet. So I took a thick metal chain and the tape yarn and just knitted it. I remember several people in the industry including a woman who worked as a trend forecaster telling me I should sell them. At the time I didn’t think I wanted to go into business or myself but timing is everything so I decided to try to strike while the iron is hot so to speak. And then for personal reasons I ended up moving back to Texas for a bit ; where I am from in the summer of 2009 . There I worked on more pieces and decided to put together a small collection and try and launch my work. I shot the look book outdoors in Austin and found a model there who actually modeled on the TV show Project Runway and a great photographer who worked for Texas Monthly. Overall it was a really great experience. Once I had my look book together I sent it off to a lot of buyers and boutiques throughout the country. I got a lot of positive feedback from it and still am pursuing opportunities.
What is your brand all about?
My Brand is really about the idea that knitwear is not just about sweaters. Knitwear is beautiful and meant to be worn in all different ways not just to keep warm. I love anything knitted and I love jewelry and I think that by combing the two is wonderful new way to accessorize the body; especially when you have a simple tee or dress on and want to dress it up or change the look of it. So you throw on a “knitlace” and have a beautiful adorned neckline or cuff of the sleeve.
I wanted the name of the brand to reflect who I am but I didn’t just want my name so I used my first name and the address of where I grew up in Houston.
We always pronounced the 0 as “O” so I added an accent for look and to differentiate between the numbers and the letter. I also wanted it reflect my love of vintage fashion and antique jewelry so I used a lot of vintage chains I found. At the same time I don’t like to date collections my favorite collections from any designer really is always about timeless beauty. When you look at a piece and can see it in the past but it is so perfect for right now and can see it being worn in the future not just for right now.
Where do you get inspiration from?
I get inspiration from my life but not in the literal sense. Usually it reflects something that is going on in my life and the current times like some event or something personal that is changing or is inspired me . Sometimes it’s a combination of past and then present experiences. So in a way it can be almost cathartic. Sometimes it’s influenced by a film or book that I am watching or reading at the moment for reasons that reflect my current mood or time in my life that I am going through. It can also be a trip or a person even. Then my subconscious is at work as well and I’ll just get the idea (like with the chains and knitting . It comes in pieces but then I put it all together and it starts to all make sense. For example, I just sketched up a collection that I did after watching a Rolling Stones documentary and at the same time was watching a lot of ballet films and documentaries ( I used to be a dancer ) so I guess I just wanted use something I meant a lot to me in my past and in a way helped shape who I became and then after watching the Rolling Stones documentary about them getting exiled from England for tax reasons, I guess I somehow felt a connection between going to a new place ( in my case going from New York back to Texas and then vice versa) and with my dancing because it was something I loved but didn’t want to do it anymore so I left it behind So my past present and future . I also just love music and Mick Jagger’s style and the idea of combing a strong force like rock and roll a soft element like ballet. The colors were influenced by the 1970s because of the documentary and also influenced from the dance movie “The Turning Point” which ironically the title of the film reflects the mood of the collection.
So if that makes any sense it’s how I end of combining things that inspire me and doing a collection.
How do you like to start working on a new project? Whats your planning process?
Once I get a idea for a new collection I will do research (which I love )
and I will look at vintage designs including my own collection of clothing ( I love collecting vintage pieces)
I am of course very visual so I will tear out pictures from magazines (or from my own tear sheet files or old magazines or look at books pertaining to a subject and put them in my journal where I’ll add yarns, fabrics sketches and then I’ll get ideas about what I should knit or what yarns reflect the mood of the collection and I will knit some samples. Sometimes the knitted samples will come first.
Whats your favourite materials to work with?
I love working with yarns obviously but some of my favorite yarns are tape yarns or chunky yarn. I also love natural fibers especially cashmere and alpaca.
I also really enjoy experimenting with mixed novelty yarns or combining different gauges.
Whats next for you?
In the future I would like to do luxury knitwear really just beautiful sweaters that you love to own.
I really am interested inspired by bohus knitting and doing fair isle designs in a more dressed up way. The opposite of my love for chunky knitting I want to knit with smaller gauges now . Also, embroidery and embellishing knitwear is speaking to me right now; so probably in some ways combining fair isle and embellishments. Also intarsia with words.