When the pandemic hit, many people had to reassess their career paths. For London-based stylist Kate Iorga, it was the push she needed to transition into the world of accessories design, launching her brand Katya and quickly attracting a devoted following of fashion-forward It-girls with her unique hair clips. “After a decade in the industry, I felt there was a void in accessories,” she explains to Vogue. “I wanted to introduce something classic and timeless yet modern and elevated. Sexy, playful, and elegant are the key elements that define our overall look, but it’s all about the attention to detail.”
Influenced by ’90s and early ’00 aesthetics, Kate’s clips have provided finishing touches to outfits worn by the likes of Bella Hadid, Camille Charrière, Dina Asher-Smith, and FKA Twigs, who told British GQ that one of her essential items is a Katya clip. Kate’s signature pieces, including eye-catching hair claws and barrettes, are meticulously crafted from resilient resin and cellulose acetate, ensuring both durability and style.
The brand’s latest collection, Mariah, continues to embrace a sense of nostalgia, with butterfly motifs taking center stage and a color palette that ranges from sky blue to jelly nude to Hubba Bubba pink. “The mood is ethereal and dreamy, and I wanted these clips to resemble butterflies gracefully landing on petals, creating a surreal yet lifelike impression,” the designer notes.
Born in Turkmenistan but raised in Camden, Kate’s lifelong obsession with fashion was sparked at a young age by the proximity of vintage shops near her north London home. Her fascination with clothing only deepened over the years, particularly after she was exposed to the creative genius of designers such as John Galliano at Dior and Tom Ford at Gucci, as well as the mesmerizing photography of Steven Meisel. “Meisel’s The Group editorial for Vogue Italia remains a personal favourite,” she fondly reminisces. “It’s both glamorous and a little fucked up. Also, Madonna’s Sex Book made a lasting impression on me–I’ve always been drawn to women who unapologetically embrace their sensuality.”
Initially, Kate intended to pursue photography, studying at the London College of Communication before shifting into styling, where she assisted the likes of Jane How and Jack Borkett. After going out on her own, she worked with brands ranging from Burberry to Nike. “My experience as a stylist taught me to trust my instincts, collaborate effectively with teams on set, and cultivate creative relationships, all while maintaining unwavering confidence in my work,” she reflects.
Now, though, she’s fully committed to Katya, with brand collaborations and a potential expansion into other product categories on the cards for 2024. “It’s a gradual process because we’re a small brand, so every move is carefully considered.” We’ll be keeping our eyes peeled.