Behind the brand: Meet the studio manager of Rokit Originals
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Rokit Vintage is one of the country's most well-known vintage clothing brands, having launched back in 1986 with a stall on Camden Market. Fast forward three-and-a-bit decades and Rokit is launching its own collection, Rokit Originals. We chatted to Rokit Originals studio manager Kathryn Hewitson to find out more about Rokit and the story behind the brand.
Kathryn Hewitson, Studio Manager at Rokit Originals // Image courtesy of Rokit & 3WhiteHatsWhat is Rokit Originals? First and foremost, what inspired the Rokit Originals collection? Kathryn explains: "Rokit Originals is about challenging the accepted norms of the fashion industry. Affordable clothing doesn’t have to be made in sweatshops. Sustainable clothing doesn’t have to look like something only your mum would wear. We take a reactive approach to design. Drawing inspiration from emerging trends, our vintage archives and our super-stylish London community. "We produce what we like when we like, and if it sells then we make more. Simple, right? By sourcing ethically as much as possible and staying in constant conversation with our customers, we can offer directional, quality pieces that won’t break the bank, and limit waste and overproduction in the process." Getting into the industry... So, how did Kathryn first get involved with Rokit? "After graduating I spent several years working for small London Fashion Week designers including Meadham Kirchhoff and Ashley Williams. While the freedom and creativity is amazing, I began to feel disconnected from the end product, which was both excruciatingly expensive and was created with no consideration for the devastating impact the fashion industry has on the environment. The more I learned about Rokit Originals, the more it sounded like the perfect solution." Kathryn has always loved fashion, and her work at Rokit echoes back to her younger years: "Mine is one of those cheesy stories of always knowing I wanted to work in fashion. As a child I was obsessed with drawing and making, and as a teen was constantly customising my clothes - studding and painting on jackets, chopping up t-shirts, making jewellery. Studying fashion design at uni was the next logical step. "I find it fascinating how the same things I drew inspiration from as a teenager - vintage, subculture and upcycling - are now what I do for a living, only with the refinement of years of experience and an amazing team to help make it happen."
Image courtesy of Rokit & 3WhiteHatsVintage first... Rokit has been around for decades and is one of the leading vintage retailers in the UK. So, what is the difference between the Originals collection and the classic vintage pieces? Kathryn says: "Rokit HQ is a treasure trove of gems from bygone eras, but inevitably there are casualties - the vintage tee with a few too many holes that can be cut around and transformed into one of our Vivienne Corsets, sad looking leather jackets waiting to be turned into your new favourite handbag. "Unfortunately, the whole range cannot be made from repurposed vintage, so our approach to newly made pieces is centred around creating the vintage of tomorrow; design-led, quality pieces made in London. We dream of these garments being loved and worn for many years, and one-day coming full circle and passing back through our doors as the vintage of the future."
Image courtesy of Rokit & 3WhiteHats
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Image courtesy of Rokit & 3WhiteHatsWords of wisdom... Finally, what words of wisdom does she have for students who want to get into the industry? "Don’t be afraid to challenge the conventions of the industry; just because something works a certain way now doesn’t mean it always has to. The new blood coming through have the power to make real change and help create a more sustainable industry (and world). Be passionate, work hard and don’t support fast fashion." Rokit Originals is available to shop now // Follow them on Instagram @rokitoriginals For more from our Behind The Brand series, click here. Lead image courtesy of Rokit and 3WhiteHats
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