The Limelight: Cat + King Official


Welcome to another lovely edition of The Limelight, where I interview independent & emerging designers. This week I wanted to share with you fashion designer duo, by the name of Cat + King. I was captivated by their collection via Instagram and wanted to reach out to learn more about their brand and the inspiration.

Cat + King

[MIKARA] I really enjoyed your collection - the patterns and colors were just right. I can see myself
wearing each one of those looks, what inspired you for this collection?



] We both studied design in Italy, so most of our inspiration derives from the Italian culture

and other European influences. However, being from the U.S., what makes this collection unique is the

eclectic mix of the modern Americanism and European classicism seen in each of our pieces. The

clean lines and structured garments mixed with whimsical patterns and colors will take you to the shores

of southern Italy. Our multi-colored silks and medallion laced brocades remind you of the vibrant

marketplaces set against the baroque style cathedrals of Palermo. Italy is a special place to both

of us - it’s where we truly fell in love with our craft and it will always be a source of inspiration for our work.

[MIKARA] What is your process for designing? How do get into the vibes of this storytelling?



] It all stems from what inspires you. We are inspired every day by things around us and

experiences we've had. Cat + King's first collection in particular had a very special meaning for both

of us. This premiere collection represents new beginnings for us. As young designers, it can be very

discouraging at times to think about breaking into this industry. With fashion changing so much and at

a rapid pace, how does a designer find their way? This premiere collection is really a way to tell our

story and the story of anyone who is at a point of discovery in their life. Cat + King stands by hand

crafted, sensibly and ethically made products and we want to share this cause with the world. Bringing

this "code of conduct" back to the industry is the motivation and inspiration for our brand.

[MIKARA] How did you get into fashion? What intrigued you to become a fashion designer?



] We have both been creative from a young age and were fortunate to have always been

encouraged by our families to pursue that creativity. We met in our high school fashion program and

the rest is pretty much history. Over the years we had the privilege of a extensive education in all

areas of fashion design. Once out of college, we both started working for fast fashion companies in

New York, and it wasn't until then that we realized, “this just isn’t for us.” With the education and skill

set we acquired during our time at The Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and abroad in

Italy, we didn’t feel fulfilled by the lack of creativity of our day jobs. With the garment district of New York

slowly dying, we wanted a change and that’s when we decided to start Cat + King. We had a vision of

bringing the handcraft skill we learned in school back to the U.S. and make quality, tailor-made

garments accessible to consumers. Our ultimate goal is to expand into missionary work and non

profit efforts to benefit underprivileged families through fashion. We dream of working with local artisans

around the world and bringing their craft to an international market in order to create better opportunities

for their families.

[MIKARA] How do you define fashion?



] To us, fashion is revolutionary. Fashion has a powerful platform in the world and it can

evoke great change. It represents so many aspects of life. It's how we express ourselves, it's a form

of art, it's social, it's political, and it carries a different meaning for everyone. Fashion is always evolving

so it is up to us to bring awareness and the change we wish to see in this industry in order to bring a

new meaning to fashion.

[MIKARA] Who is the Cat + King woman? Describe them in 3-5 words.



] The Cat + King woman is the modern classic. She's elegant, innovative, and revolutionary.

[MIKARA] What does the brand name, Cat + King, mean?



] Literally speaking, Cat and King are our nicknames for each other. Cat is short for Catherine

and King is Shannon’s last name. Being lifelong friends, our nicknames have always stuck with us,

everyone knows us as Cat and King. But beyond that, Cat + King represents so much more. We feel

it is our mission to bring awareness to more ethical fashion practices and to promote sustainability

through our collection, across the globe. We want the focus to be on a beautifully handcrafted collection

that has an impactful message behind it. Our ultimate goal is not about fame or making millions of dollars,

it is about bringing joy to those who need it – such as empowering underprivileged women around the

world. We want to bring them a piece of hope that has been lost; this is what motivates us as designers.

Fashion has a powerful platform in the world and it can be the cause for great change. So as designers,

we want to use our industry to bring awareness to various issues we feel strongly about. We support

fair trade fashion practices and sensible sustainability, meaning our products are created cruelty-free.

We hope by spreading the word of Cat + King, that we can make a change in how our clothes are made

and where they are made. We plan to carry out our fair-trade commitment into future missionary work.

We want to connect artisans, from the developing world, to the profit chain of fashion and make the part

of the Cat + King community. A community working toward a greater, more unified tomorrow.

[MIKARA] If you could pick a celebrity or micro-celebrity to wear your brand, who would it be?



] We would love Annabelle Wallis to wear something by Cat + King. We love the

characters she plays on various tv drama series and we feel she really embodies the Cat + King girl,

refined yet bold in her ways. We would love for Annabelle to bring her class and elegance to one of our

eye catching pieces.

[MIKARA] Outside of fashion design, do you have any hidden talents?



] Yes! We actually have our own invitation and event decor company called Creationari!

Our second love to fashion is definitely graphic design and crafting. Designing brings us joy, so bringing

that joy to brides and anyone celebrating a occasion is something really special to us. You can check

us out on instagram


or on our website


[MIKARA] What are your plans for the next collection?



] Our next collection is currently in the works and we are stepping away from the soft

palette of pastels from our spring/summer collection and delving into rich, earthy neutrals and jewel

tones. Our upcoming collection will still be very pattern driven, however, we will be introducing more

solids to suit the billowing silhouettes of this collection. It definitely has the feeling of 18th century

romanticism set in a dream like wasteland with military elements throughout. We don't want to give

away too much, a preview will be coming soon! We will also be premiering the collection at Feeric

Fashion Week in Romania this coming July.

[MIKARA] Closing out this interview: where do you see your brand in 5 years?



] We see a future of missions work through the fashion industry in our path. Our ultimate

goal is to become affiliated with various foundations that provide support to disadvantaged children,

women, and families in underprivileged communities around the world, maybe even start our own found

ation someday! So far we’ve been blessed with a lot of great opportunities and we’re excited to see

where everything takes us. At the same time, we just want to continue to grow as a brand and focus on

our next collection, always keeping our innovative, tailor made-to-order model in mind. You can see our

upcoming collections premiering at Feeric Fashion Week this July!