Katie behind the seams
There’s a special art to adding just the right touches that make an outfit – designing those pieces takes an extra special eye. We met up with our accessories designer, Katie, to chat inspiration, summer goals and bags, bags, bags.
Where do you look for inspiration?
All the designers at lululemon are athletes – yoga is my first love, run is my second. Some designers pull inspiration from fashion but I’m inspired by the spaces and places that I see when I’m out getting sweaty. Just seeing what people are wearing, talking to other yogis in the studio, doing classes – that’s where the inspiration comes from for me.
Where do you find you’re most creative?
In the yoga studio, for sure. I’ve had some of my best thoughts in Savasana. You get to that point where you’re completely relaxed and your mind is quiet, it’s the perfect space for the next idea to just pop in. Wanderlust is also buckets of inspiration. You’re with all of these really rad people and doing tons of classes – you’re totally immersed in it.
I’ve always just gravitated towards accessories. I have a million shoes and no pants in my closet. I also love the flow of it – each season is something new and different.
What’s it like to design for lululemon?
Some of our designs come from a need – I’ll be traveling and wishing I had a bag that does this or that. A lot of our designs come from talking to people and asking what they’re wishing for. I’m training for the SeaWheeze right now and I’ve got a favourite pair of running shorts that we don’t make anymore. I’ll bring them in and ask for them again – they’re so good!
It’s cool to hear all of the feedback. The first bag I designed for lululemon was the Bon Voyage Duffel and it was something we hadn’t really ever done before. People really loved it! And I’m a bit competitive, I like to beat out the other bags.
What is your favourite accessory?
This is so hard – I have so many! I’m a bag hoarder, I never throw any away. I keep all my lululemon totes and duffels in a bin in my apartment, and I have two hooks for the vintage Coach bags and Louis Vuittons that I’ve found. I have a vintage Louis Vuitton bucket bag that I love – I bought it as a reward for myself after my first year at lululemon. I carry that one all the time. And shoes, of course. Right now, I’m digging into the sneakers of my youth. I just bought a pair of Vans slip-ons, last year I was wearing Keds.
Do you cycle through a bag per season? Or are you an until-you-find-your-next-love kind of girl?
If you see me before work, I’ll usually have three bags with me. I always work out in the morning so I’ll have my duffel full of clothes, my bag-bag and my lunch bag. My purse might change with the season – I just bought a canvas tote because it’s summer and I don’t want to carry leather. I’ll probably start carrying something a little roomier in the fall.
What blogs or magazines do you read?
For magazines, I read Vogue, Marie Claire and Elle. Well & Good, Refinery 29 and Who What Wear – I read those blogs all the time. Daily Skim is a new one for me – I’m from the States and it gives me the top five things that are happening so I can stay on top of news from home.