Katie Eary

...grabbing menswear by the lapel and dragging it into the future

Katie Eary is the London-based designer who will soon need no introduction – her aggressive but noble menswear is an unstoppable, inevitable hurricane ripping its own path through fashion. If difficult social and economic times such as these bring watershed moments, rare changes of perspective that grab fashion by the lapel and drag it into the future, then Katie is the young talent that really is the burgeoning voice, and attitude, of our generation. Eary studied her MA at the Royal College of Art. Heat started generating almost immediately: the first call she received was from British Vogue. Mario Testino was to shoot her custom-made pieces on Kate Moss. “And I think that about a lot of the opportunities that have come my way... I’m coming in through the back door, I think it’s something I’ve spent quite a lot of my life doing. But of course fashion is a system that relies on beautiful product at the end, no matter what the starting point”. It’s here that Eary excels – everything is bespoke and handmade by the designer herself in the finest wools, leather, brass and Swarovski crystals.

Nothing inspires me like…
A good book! I love losing myself in a novel filled with twisted voyeuristic characters to base my looks on. Irvine Welsh is one of my favorite writers and never disappoints, always providing me with yet another vulgar character to get really stuck into.

I hope…
One day to sail across the Pacific. Surviving only on natures resources.

Cultural influences…
Brit Art is one of my biggest influences. In fact, it was the "Sensation" exhibition that really rocked my boat and changed my outlook on everything... I wanted to create something really exciting and incite excitement the same way, say Emin, did for me.

I got where I am...
Only through blood, sweat and tears. It has/continues to be quite the rollercoaster ride emotionally, physically and financially. It really has not been easy, but I’m quite the fighter and hope to continue.

Fashion can sometimes...
Be a creative outlet for me. I always wanted to be an artist; my chosen medium is fashion, in which I can execute my vision.

I scream when…
Fabric arrives (obviously with excitement). At the moment, I am doing a lot of print, and so its always so exciting to see it in fabric form. There are some majorly mental ones for AW11. But you will have to wait and see for those!

Cake makes me…
So happy!!! In fact, I always make cakes to escape the world. It’s so satisfying. Cooking is definitely one of my vices; did you know you can get edible glitter these days??? I know—AMAZING. So you can get food coloring (green) and green glitter and make Frankenstein cakes. Endless fun...

I have never…
Been to Tokyo. This is a place I have always wanted to go. I hope to go soon, it looks like the most inspiring place EVER! I will be going in 2011 for sure, it’s long overdue!!!

Love is…
Rare.

My dreams are…
Terrible at the moment... I’ve been reading all these books on gangs, the rise of knife crime etc. I read a few paragraphs at night just before I go to sleep (just to switch off) but the scenarios in the books get twisted with my morbid violent mind to create utter hell. I’ve always had an over active mind, but some of the things I’ve seen in my dreams lately are no walk in the park.

MY FUTURE IS…
Uncertain. I try to only make yearly plans—for example, this year I would really like to get a moped to travel round London a lot quicker, visit such and such country, collaborate with a few brands, get stocked more. Fashion is too fickle to put all your eggs in one basket. A good year’s plan at a time I think is good. I obviously know where I’d like to be in 5 years and then in 10 years, but I don’t want to wish life away. When it happens, I will be happy, but until then I will be reaching my modest little goals.

I live East…
I used to live East, but now find Shoreditch to be so suffocating, and certainly not cool any more... Further out in Dalston, I can find solace sometimes—and I mean only sometimes... But I find that place has been invaded by twats as well now... Nowhere is safe.

I'm a perfectionist…
To the point of annoyance. It takes me a long time to trust a new assistant with any handwork. Most of the embellishment I do has to be done to utter perfection or I simply will not show it. This can be problematic with time restrictions, etc., but hey-ho. If I weren’t like that, I wouldn't be where I am today...

My first crush...
I wouldn't say this story is romantic in any way, or involves me having a crush on anyone, but I do remember being 8 and orchestrating it so that I would have 3 boyfriends on Valentine's day... I obviously would only allow 1 of them to kiss me on the cheek, the other 2 were just guaranteed presents, i.e. chocolates and a teddy.

My mum...
Is the reason I continue to do this every day. She is my biggest inspiration! We have literally both been working so hard to pull ourselves up from the council living. My mother went back to college with the aim of going to university as a single mum with 4 children, when I was 14. She now has a PhD and did it all by herself. This is instilled in me so strongly. I’m very proud.