As she launches her new hair accessory brand Katya, Kate Iorga explains why hair clips have the power to make you feel "sexy, glamorous and powerful"
Who is it? New hair accessory brand KATYA has been a long time coming. The retro-leaning debut collection was inspired by founder Kate Iorga’s longstanding career as a stylist, and draws on ideas of where modern glamour meets pop culture. The aim? Making well-dressed hair an effortless stable. “Working in fashion, I’m constantly inspired to create and I’m obsessed with accessories,” says Iorga, a north London native who has styled for the likes of Burberry, Net-A-Porter, Nike and Yeezy. “I hope that with Katya, we’re elevating the accessories space, inspiring others and bringing something modern and refined to the table.”
Launched with the KATYA Crystal Rose and Teardrop collection, Iorga worked instinctively with a colour palette that felt modern, sticking to limited edition pieces with six colourways – not only to make her micro-line more special, with an element of exclusivity, but also to be mindful of mass production and remain sustainable. “We want to help tackle waste and overproduction,” she says. “In the words of Mike Skinner, ‘cult classic not bestseller.’”
Why do I want it? KATYA takes the traditional hair clip – an often subtle and overlooked accessory – and reinvents it as a center stage piece. “I feel that accessories should be powerful, elegant and sexy,” Iorga explains. Nostalgic styles from the 80s and 90s play into the collection; take the pearlescent denim blue or the Miss Piggy Pink shades, both in pastel hues that ooze 80s glamour and are currently customer favorites. “The 80s nod that came through in the images were in part thanks to the hair and make-up that felt the right balance of feminine and graphic,” she points out. “Hair stylist Simone Mason and make-up artist Thom Walker did something special with the glam, bringing us into the fantasy but twisting the references to keep things unexpected and timeless.”
As a self-proclaimed sucker for nostalgia, Iorga was specifically inspired by Studio 54 and the work of Guy Bourdin. “I love to take a classic Bourdin image as a starting point and then build on that with unexpected flourishes in the styling. That’s why we used lots of next-gen designers such as Maximilian [Davis],” she adds. What sets Iorga aside from other accessory brands is her vision. She wants her designs to cut through the noise of the oversaturated fashion industry to provide the Katya customer – “young, fabulous, divas who give drama and get what they want” – with something useful, affordable and exquisite. “I want Katya to be worn like jewellery, stacked up, mismatched or attached to a handbag strap,” she says. “They’re sturdy and precious and I like to imagine Katya in all kinds of contexts. Our pieces should always be visually simple yet compelling, and this collection is only a small taste of what’s to come.”
As a stylist and brand owner, Iorga’s creativity appeals to a sexy zeitgeist. “I love making people look and feel glamorous and confident, and that is something that I take into consideration with every design and shoot I approach,” she says. “Fashion is more adventurous than ever and there is no room for the faint-hearted, so why can’t hair accessories demand such attention too?”
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Written by Sagal Mohammed on March 07, 2022