Based in Kraków, Poland, KATA HARATYM is in love with fancy vintage fabrics that lend a unique touch to the clothes. Inspired by historical garments, Kata creates grand-scale, intricate dresses in a world dominated by functional minimalism. Promoting local craft and slow fashion that’s kinder on both people and the planet, the team collaborates closely with experienced local seamstresses and artists to create limited series of fashion pieces and uses natural fibers and deadstock fabric to make them. Previously, this label’s designs and styled works have been published in Vogue, L’Officiel, Harper`s Bazaar, ELLE, Grazia, Marie Claire, Schön! Magazine, and more.
Tell us about your passion for fashion, how and when it started? I never thought I would become a fashion designer. As a kid, I wanted to work in an office, walk in high heels and wear a power suit (probably because I was a big fan of colourful sticky notes and fluorescent markers). In fact, no one in my family was interested in fashion or trends - clothes were supposed to be clean, ironed and without holes. They were divided into two groups: home and formal. On one hand, I was running around in my older brother's sweatpants, playing fairies or football in the backyard, and on the other, celebrations always required an impeccable outfit. Two worlds in which clothes demanded respect and purpose. As a teenager, I loved reading comics and it eventually got me hooked on costumes and cosplay. I've brought to life a few of my favorite characters, but I'm too ashamed to share the pictures these days.
It was only when I started studying Swedish philology, I became more interested in fashion as such. It started with cloth history and construction. Then came a moment of tough decisions, but I took my chances and signed up for SAPU (School of Fashion Design in Kraków). In the beginning, I had no idea about fashion and designers, but I was gaining more and more knowledge with time. Starting in my first year, I took part in various additional workshops and photo sessions, and for the first time I was excelling in something. Right after school, I ended up in a large fast fashion company as a designer, but I never stopped thinking about designing my own brand. I've always been a late bloomer and my path to better things can take a long time. Working in a large company taught me patience, but now I’m sharing my world with others through my creations and I take their opinion and feelings into account.
What inspires you the most when creating new collections? I love incredible fabric- colours and structures - this mostly my first step to design.
What is the uniqueness of your garments? Details and fabrics, often vintage - every garment has some kind of design twist.
What cause is particularly important for you? Elevated clothing construction and fabric quality
Describe yourself in a hashtag. #headintheclouds
What is the biggest learning experience you have had? I take my life slow- I appreciate my various experience from costume making in high school, Swedish studies in early 20s to working as a fashion producer. I pick my experiences and treasure them.
When are you the most inspired? While travelling (unfortunately I didn’t do it as much as I used to because of Covid) and also by meeting new creative people- it fills my mind with lots of ideas.
What would you say is making you feel positive these days? Growing environmental awareness - my heart grows when I hear good news like this.
What is your dream country to visit? Iceland and Italy - I visited both but I would love to visit more than once.
What is the best compliment you have ever received? „Your dress makes me feel like a fairy- it boost my confidence”