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  • I was so exited when Keren wrote me after she stumbled on my Sense Of Fashion page. Her new collection focuses on leisure handmade bags and belts and comes straight from London.
    On a side note, I have to admit that I’m loving Keren’s brand logo designed by the much talented Gianfranco Azzaroccini.
    {Photos by Zhanna Malaya}

    www.kbrat.co.uk
  • Boundaries | Candy Bag
     
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    Boundaries | Luna Bag
     
  • Boundaries | Lily Bag
     
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    logo by Gianfranco Azzaroccini
     
I’d love to hear about you, your journey, how it all began.
I am coming from a fine art background, I’ve been painting my entire life, and I think moving on in this path was the only thing that made sense. When I was 22 I started getting into fashion and fabric as a medium, seeking self expression thinking in 3D shapes, and the female form for inspiration. I was in a point in my life that I needed a fresh start, and London was right there… So I took a leap of faith and moved to London, and graduated a BA in Fashion design and technology, at the London College of Fashion. I think moving here and starting all over again has taught me so much and is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
Can you describe your work process for me?
My work process is usually to find a concept which I’m inspired by and research it, then I do a lot of sketches, experiment with materials, weights and colours. I then do flat pattern cutting and work on creating the right sculpted like-shape. Then I do my first toil and get a full picture of the garment/bag. I think in fashion a part of the process is also to really understand the market and what the buyers will want to purchase, so understanding your core consumer needs is highly important too in building a collection, there is a big difference between designing for your own need and building a collection for the wide market.
Which materials do you work with?
This collection; ‘Boundaries’ 2010 is all about leather bags and belts, so I’m using different kinds of leather such as calfskins, fully grained goatskins, lambskins, heavy shoulder cow-skins and pony hides, with retained hair. All treated, sewn and coated by hand. I use solid brass fastenings and the bags are lined with beautiful Tibetan silks that I hand pick on my yearly visits to India. I am fascinated by leather craftsmanship, and it’s all self-taught, as I studied womenswear and not accessories, so learning is a part of the fun (and it’s extremely humbling too).
What is the most unusual piece you have ever designed?
From this collection, I think the Nico bag stands out, but I am also very passionate about the custom-made prints I designed recently for my next season’s dresses and soft separates.
Who is your ideal costumer?
I always picture my client to be a strong, confident and independent woman who appreciate quality of lines and of materials and want to stand out from the crowd.
What’s next? What is your dream?
The dream is finding utopia, being a better person… That’s the real work we have here and the real responsibility I think we should all share. But when it comes to a career, I want the label to be in more shops and department stores, I want to enter the market in Berlin and Tokyo. I also miss womenswear, I hope next season I could go back to designing womenswear and perhaps show in Fashion week in the up and coming coming seasons…
I’m curious to know where does your inspiration come from?
Anthropology is one of my biggest love affairs, I am mesmerised by the beauty of remote cultures, and I find it enriching and uplifting. I hope I’ll always be able to travel and see beauty in the remotest places. I am inspired by religion, tribal culture with their myth and folklore. Of course, being a practicing Buddhist, the path I chose is always incorporated with my craft.
Can you tell me which designers inspire you?
There are really so many, to name a few: Ann Demeulemeester, Alexander McQueen RIP, Rick Owens, Junya Watanabe and Rei Kawakubo the designers behind Comme des Garcons, and Yohji Yamamoto.