For our first ever Q&A, meet Katie Farnan, an incredibly sweet, incredibly charming and impeccably dressed woman behind her eponymous line. The label, a fresh mix of classic, feminine and downtown cool girl, has quickly garnered a cult following. We’re so excited to have so many of her pieces on The Shoppes and can’t to see what she comes up with next.
Read on to learn more about how she got started, what inspires her, who the Katie Farnan woman really is.
Can you tell us what inspired you to start your own label, and how it came into being?
As long as I can remember fashion/ sewing/creating was all I ever wanted to do. I started sewing at 11 after being taught by my nana how to use a sewing machine, the ins and outs of hand sewing, and the correct stitches to use based on fabric choices. I am fairly positive I knew then that anything in fashion would be my dream career. At 29, after moving to Chicago a few years before, I was working as a stylist and enjoyed the industry, but always knew that the end game was designing clothes. I think what inspired me to start my own label was my love for fashion/creating/styling and the endless support from my entrepreneurial boyfriend that anything is possible. Late in 2016 I started my first seasonal line with 3 pieces, a website and some amazing friends that let me photograph them. From there I created the next season with triple the amount of pieces and started reaching out to stores in the city that I thought had thoughtfully curated selections where my line would fit. Since then I have continued to grow my direct to consumer side and work with amazing people within Chicago to evolve our cities fashion scene.
What’s your design process like, and where do you draw inspiration from?
I think my design process keeps evolving. At first I would sketch and then match fabric to my ideas. This worked sometimes but more times than not no fabric was exactly what I had created in my mind. I now intertwine the sketching and fabric selection and go back and forth to create an end garment using all resources. I am also a sucker for sketching on paper with colored pencils/markers/ pens, etc. and not digitally. My inspiration comes from many things but I would say most of the time I pull ideas from films and different time periods. Films can be magical and emotional and transport the viewer to another place and time and I always want to do that with my collection. It is also very nostalgic to me to bring back pieces from a different time period but make them feel fresh and modern. The 20’s and 30’ were very prevalent in my most recent collection.
Describe your brand / collection in three words.
Tailored, confident, timeless
What do you hope to achieve with your label?
I hope to make a woman feel confident when she wears KF. I hope to continually make garments that are classic but feel fresh so that a women can live her everyday life in our line. I want to strike emotion in the KF woman so that each time she wears a piece she remembers the special moments that happened in them.
Where do you see the label to be in the next five years?
In the next five years I see the KF label evolving from a single line capsule brand to various capsule collections each season. Right now we debut one capsule collection each Fall/Winter and Spring/ Summer, as the years go on I want to incorporate 2 – 4 capsule collections each season to cater more directly to each woman and her wardrobe. I also see opening a retail location in Chicago and Atlanta.
What do you envision the quintessential Katie Farnan woman to be like?
I picture the KF woman as a courageous, strong, equal but ambitious person in her relationships, life and career. She takes pride in her image and how she portrays herself. She is inspiring.
What is your favorite piece to wear from your current collection?
The Blazer Bomber hands down is my favorite piece. I will be wearing it for years to come. It has classic elements but evokes a cool girl feel. I also really enjoy that it has a sportiness to it mixed with feminine colors and textures. It’s unexpected.
Tell us, which piece is your favorite from Katie Farnan’s line? Leave us a comment below!