3rd Rail Print Space Member Spotlight: Kate Alexander

Kate Alexander Design is a studio based inside 3rd Rail Print Space specialising in original yarn dye plaid and stripe designs for menswear, womenswear, childrenswear and home furnishing. Kate has worked with some of the world’s leading fashion brands, including, American Eagle, DKNY and French Connection, amongst many more. We joined up with the 3rd Rail Print Space member for a chat about her upcoming work and what inspires her.

Can you tell us about the studio?

The studio specialises in original Woven Designs. I design and sell world-wide, my client base is hugely varied so I am designing with Mens, Women’s, Kids and Home in mind. I travel regularly to the USA where I’d say most of my customers are based with an expanding number of connections in the UK and Europe.

Whats your main source of inspiration? 

I don’t tend to follow colour trends too much as I find it restricting. Inspiration comes from all sorts, magazines, catwalk, what I see around me or how I’m feeling, or how many coffees I’ve had! Sometimes I’ll grab a particular yarn shade and run with it. I love ‘happy accidents’ when it comes to combining colour in Woven’s, you never really know how a design is going to look until its finished, when working with a wrap and weft.
You work with a lot of colour, is this an important aspect of your design process?
Colour is key! Luckily I’ve managed to source a hugely extensive range of yarns, unlike painting or digital printing you cant just mix to an exact Pantone shade. Many of my clients come to me purely for colour inspiration and is often the starting point for their new season which I find hugely satisfying.
You’ve collaborated with some major fashion brands, whats been your favourite project to date?
There have been a few over the years, one of my favourites was a project I did with American Eagle working with their design team in New York. I designed a huge range of woven checks and stripes for their Spring/Summer season a year in advance. As a textile designer you never really know how many designs will actually get to production. On a following trip I walked into their NY flagship store and the place was adorned with pretty much everything I’d designed, it felt great to see so many designs and as an end product.
Can you tell us any exciting projects you’re working on at the moment? 
I’m currently collaborating on a scarf collection with Parisian Print designer Virginia Crofts and a small family owned weaving factory in Northern India. The factory use only the most gorgeous organic cottons, wools, silk and cashmere.  We flew out to India to work with them towards the end of last year. It was so inspiring and incredible to be allowed complete free reign to design exactly what we wanted, combining my Woven’s and Virginia’s Prints. Our first collection will launch Winter 18/19 under the label ‘Alexander & Crofts’ so watch this is space!
Visit Kate’s website to see more of her work and to follow her progress.
For more information about memberships and joining 3rd Rail Print Space please click here

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