Meet Katie Eary, Kanye West's favourite British designer
Soon enough she won't need an introduction if things continue to go the way they are. Katie Eary is one of the standout designers at London Collections Men. Her design ethic is bold, courageous and adventurous. Nobody quite embraces prints like her. Take her Spring/Summer 2017 collection for instance, silk shirts emblazoned with electric fish prints. Her designs appeal to Hip-Hop artists and the ordinary man alike, from Kanye West to Ed Westwick.
We got a chance to chat to Eary post London Collections Men S/S '17. Read the full interview below...
Zak Maoui: why did you decide to start with menswear when you first started designing?
Katie Eary: Because in 2003 it was the least popular choice.
You've contributed massively to the development of London Collections Men. Where do you think you'd be without it? How has it helped you?
Thank you! It's lovely for you to acknowledge that. Myself and about 5 other designers were making so much noise on the last day of women's fashion week someone had to do something, and thankfully LCM was born off the back of this. Press was never an issue but sales was an absolute nightmare. All the men's buying had already been spent at the time of men's shows during women's fashion week. So LCM helped the business side ten fold!
Do you agree that London is the centre of the fashion industry?
Once upon a time yes, not so much anymore.
Your inspirations alway reflect reality, from rent boys to lifestyle's heavily involved with drugs. Why is this?
I am a realist. I like to stick to the knitty gritty so not to be swept away by boujuir fashion.
So Kanye West. What did it feel like for him to take an interest? What did you learn from him?
I have been answering questions about Kanye for 6 years. I was already established when he approached me and wasn't the fame lord he is today. So it was just like any artist coming to meet another artist to create something cool together - nice. I learnt that anything is possible.
Where do you see the menswear industry heading? Have men really become more open to the way we dress?
Yes of course, so much has changed. I started my degree 13 years ago when being a menswear designer was uncool. Now it's growing to be as strong and 'cool' as being a womenswear designer.
How would you describe your design style? And your design process?
It's the same every season. Start with a book (usually one I have brought from the airport as I'm such a keen traveller) then start on the prints, then the shapes then start again with another book/film iv watched. Do the show. Cry for a few days. Attempt to quit. Read a good book ----- and so on and so forth.
Kawasaki !!! I LOVE super bikes. My Dad has had amazing motor bikes all my life so I was on the back of one from day dot. His taste has always veered towards British bikes, but I love the Japanese supers. I think I'm a bit of a speed junky.
And what's next for Katie Eary? Ikea is an exciting project, what would you like to happen next/what have you got planned?
Well, for the first time in my design life I feel very content. I plan to do some pretty obscure collabs and work on a pretty major swim line available via my site, this is going to be done at a leisurely pace until it's prefect and ready to go. I'm excited!