Kraken Counter Culture is a London-based emerging fashion brand founded by designer Caterina Schmitt. This September they have introduced their groundbreaking “K” Sizing System that is formulated to dress the modern transgender woman. “Alongside providing womenswear RTW, these shining new K sizes will put an end to the familiar ‘perfect fit struggle’ for all those identifying as female.” They have carefully collected data and converted male anatomical measurements and proportions to feminine styles. If you need further adjustments you can request a MadeToMeasure or Bespoke order.
Their wearable debut HOMAGE TO CATOUGLAGE SS17 “unravels in six refined creations inspired by the upbeat energy of 70’s Soul Train, an undisguised enthusiasm for Toilet Paper Mag’s vibrant colour, and a broad spectrum of sensuous textures.”
Schmitt explains, “I’ve always wanted Kraken to be, as a concept and ultimately as a brand, the place where brave ideas come to life in the form of beautiful things. In a way, yes, Kraken does create clothes but Kraken also wants to bring its own contribution to social change through its operations. Deciding to prototype a sizing system for the transgender woman was both a natural progression of my personal journey and an adventure. Around one year ago, I remember telling a friend how insulting I found that mainstream media would so often seem to depict the T group as somewhat theatrical and grotesque in style. My belief was that each lady has her taste and that perhaps the stereotype grew out of a lack of clothes made with their body types in mind. On an emotional level, I felt no woman should receive such treatment and that as a feminist myself – I couldn’t just ignore this.
It was then I had the idea it was time for somebody to create something modern and truly elegant which would also be suited to these women. In particular, I wanted to present these new products together within the womenswear category to invite people to stop drawing distinctions. The goal was to create a new niche market where not many had yet dared to go and to turn Kraken in the first brand to embrace all shades of womanhood. Something to be proud of.
We started by spreading messages and questionnaires around the web. We joined 150+ groups and forums from all over the globe, asking directly to these girls what they thought needs to change in the current fashion market. What came out from these hundreds of conversations was so much more than we ever expected. Besides receiving overwhelming interest, we got to hear some incredible stories and made some really special friends. By letting people guide us in brainstorming our moves we identified that there were common arguments to most interviewees. First, the fit was constant trouble: tight wrists, short tops, baggy bottoms…any woman would get stressed out if every garment was made so badly. Second, the shopping experience seemed to be very stressful, often filled with bad looks and rude comments. And finally, the price — many individuals reported financial difficulties and thus little keen on spending more than for necessity.
We then resolved to make some corrections. Instead of offering a bespoke service as default, a new sizing system had to be made in order to keep the fees low. And this was how “K” was born. Our first collection using this system alongside standard RTW is Homage to Catouflage SS17.
At this round, we decided to stick to what we do well, which is bold, loud designs and wanted to invest in the same quality materials and craft as people have come to expect from us. As a plan for the future, we wish to expand by developing simpler and more affordable styles – hopefully to meet the demand more and more efficiently.”
For additional information please visit caterinaschmitt.co.uk/shop