Discover Kata Banko

Hi all,

Summer is almost here and Love is all around! Our founder Holy had the chance to chat with Colleen, founder of the like-minded brand Kanta Banko.

H: Can you please tell us more about Kanta Banko? (how did it start, what inspires you, what are the values behind the brand?)

C: Kata Banko Couture Bridal Accessories started in 2009. I didn’t have a plan to get into the accessory business, let alone bridal, it really just kind of happened. A friend of mine opened a bridal salon and brides were requesting custom accessories and veils, which was really not offered by current designers at the time, so she asked me if I could make a few pieces for clients and it just grew from there.

The next thing you know I had created a full collection, went to Bridal Market and it took off. At the time I was offering a full range of bridal belts and sashes, 3D floral veils and veils dripping with pearls and Swarovski, no one was offering pieces like this, so I was well received.

All of a sudden my designs were in bridal salons around the world, it seemed crazy to me! Then of course the reality of the industry kicked in the following year when my entire belt and sash collection was copied by an up and coming brand. That really pushed me to think outside of the box even more. Its daunting in our collective industries that copying is such a huge thing, but this really helped me decide how I wanted to grow my business. I like to keep it small and exclusive, I create each piece by hand, my hands, so everything has a very special heirloom quality to it. I am really inspired by music, how a sound feels and top that with nature and life, that’s all the inspiration I need. I do not follow trends, there is little passion in being trendy, and I’d rather be original any day. My goal with the brand was and is to try to be as mindful as possible. To create beautiful sustainable pieces that can be worn again and again. For that very reason I have made 2019 my last year that I will be offering Veils. That is a onetime deal, there is too much waste in the world as it is. I have been slowly converting my brand into lifestyle, bridal and beyond for years, it’s a tricky place to be, but the more I educate people on why it’s important, the more my brand flourishes.

H: Can you share with us your favorite piece and explain why it is so special for you?

C: This is a tough one, I have so many favorites! If I had to choose I would say it is my 10:37 vines. A few years ago, I created a different way to work with Crystals and Semi-Precious stones. Everywhere you see Quartz Crystal crowns, combs, jewelry, I have a whole range in my collections as well. I pioneered a new version of crushed sands for my collections, it’s softer, and lighter and the colors are insanely beautiful. At this time of creation my world was upside down, so in essence this form of creativity saved me.

H: What are your next big plans? (Collection, collaboration, how do you see the brand in the next 5-10 years)

C: There are a lot of things going on behind the scenes, that’s for sure. But to be completely honest, I really don’t plan so much, it keeps things interesting and unique. As far as future collections go, they will be smaller and more sustainable, that’s my goal. As designers we are expected to create at the very least two collections per year, buyers and fans want to see new and more and what’s next, that is a lot of waste, I will not be participating in that. We’ve got to slow down on producing fast fashion, it has been a crisis for years. I really don’t have a 5 or 10 year plan for my brand, I’m just an artist and this is one of many mediums I use to express myself. I have never mass produced my work, when I create a piece, it is an original, every piece, whether duplicated or not, has its own signature, its own distinct version. Honestly I have considered doing just one of a kind pieces. I also design for other brands which is something I may dabble in a bit more. Oh and then there is my pottery obsession on top of my food obsession (I’m secretly a food artist). I believe it’s okay to not have big future plans, life changes too much. I mean if your brand is going to be mass produced and you are looking to be the next big design house, then there is a need for solid growth plans, but I just want to create.

In terms of collaboration, there is so much happening there. I’m currently designing for a self-care cannabis brand, which is amazing. I’m a huge advocate for holistic medicine and nutrition. The self-care, well for me it’s really a big deal, I have neglected that in my own life for so long, so I am diving in head first!

I look forward to collaborating with brands that have an ethical and sustainable mindset, like The Noces, definitely on a different level, not so much bridal, more lifestyle. Fashion is a great way of expression but at what cost? We waste so much, we have too much and it’s a very disposable industry not to mention extremely unethical and not sustainable looking forward to working with brands who see the value in quality over quantity and who want to make the world a better place. You can’t eat money.

You can follow Kata Banko Couture Veiling and Accessories on social media:
https://www.instagram.com/katabankocouture/
www.facebook.com/katabankobrides

Stay tuned for our special collaboration with Kata Banko to celebrate love in all its forms!
X TN

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Thank You 2018

Hi all,

We are almost at the end of 2018 and oh boy, it has been an intense year! First and foremost, we’d like to deeply thank all our customers, retailers, partners, family and friends who supported us and made us believe more than ever in this human adventure. We may have been silent on the blog for a while but we can testify that it was pretty noisy behind the scenes! Because everyone is getting excited over the Top 9 and the best pictures on social media, we would like to share our Top 9 Moments that made 2018 incredibly memorable:

  1. 2018 was definitely marked by our first steps in the offline world – from Los Angeles to Stockholm, we’ve been out there so you could try our accessories, touch them and feel the love we put in the design and in the weaving! Definitely a rewarding experience and we can’t wait to extend our reach in 2019.
  2. We hold our first pop up ever last summer at the Hoxton Hotel in London, in partnership with our online retailer I Love Designer. It was great to meet our London-based friends and supporters and exchange on ideas and collaborations.
  3. Because Noces mean Wedding / Marriage in French, it was natural that we foster collaborations with brands who share the same interest in Love. It was such an exciting moment to work with the conscious wedding dress brand Celia Grace and the PR Company Perry Rose Media. We can’t encourage you enough to support these brands led by women for women!
  4. There is a beginning to everything – our entry to Germany! Yes our German speaker fans can now find us on the biggest conscious and eco-friendly marketplace Avocadostore. Extra kudos to our little cousin Zoely who really helped making us a move in the German market with her language skills!
  5. Still staying in Germany: our awesome feature in the Fogs Magazine! Yes we are still over the moon just thinking about, with their lovely review of our Jade raffia handbag that carries our brand identity in a single accessory.
  6. And concluding on the German news: we partnered with Peppermynta Magazine and the activist Melanie-Jasmin Jeske, pictured by the photographer Florian Grill, to celebrate women and body positivity through an exclusive summer edit outfit inspiration.
  7. The magazine Native Nashville made us a great surprise: a special feature of our Alexa raffia handbag, shot by the photographer Brett Warren, in collaboration with Shop Goodwin. We are so grateful for such an opportunity!
  8. We partnered with Studio Preservation and the photographer Nicole Lorenson to capture the essence of our brand: a blend of a minimalist, timeless yet modern style. Our accessories were styled with the New York based knitwear brand Kordal and the shoes brand By Far.
  9. And last but not least: our exclusive collaboration with the brand Studio 189 led by fashion activist Rosario Dawson and Abrima Erwiah to co-create handwoven raffia clutches and accessories to be available for Spring Summer 2019. Our bespoke accessories already made it to the New York Fashion Week, the Ghana Fashion Week, the Nigeria Fashion Week, Miami Art Basel and so on.

Of course there was much more – 2018 was a year of awesome encounters, meeting new friends from all around the world who share our vision for a fashion with purpose. Thanks to you, we will be able to continue supporting social programs in Madagascar – but wait for the next post to hear more about our social engagement!

We wish you a healthy and joyful 2019, and let’s all cheer for an awesome year to come!

With love,

TN

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Meet Mafalda Costa

Hi all,

Life is full of awesome encounters – one of them is when we met Mafalda Costa, a dynamic and vibrant young lady who captivated us in her effortless chic style. She owns the lovely boutique MStore, curating gorgeous accessories and clothing from conscious and responsible brands. She is sharing a bit of herself in this exclusive summer interview with us.

TN: Mafalda, thanks for taking the time! Could you tell us more about your dream holidays?

MC: The perfect vacation for me would be a month of island hopping in Greece with my best friends. Fresh fruit and vegetables, bar foot and wearing a bikini most of the time. And of course, let’s not forget the fun nights with some nice cocktails.

Credit: TN

TN: Any tip for a great restaurant in Berlin?

MC: One of my favourite restaurants in Berlin is Mariona in Kreuzberg. It is a Spanish gourmet tapas restaurant. It’s really cozy, everything is delicious there. They also have a great wine selection. Otherwise, one of my favourite Sunday plans is to go for a Brunch. Just seating with friends and having a long and relaxing time for meal. Mimosas are sometimes included 😉

TN: Can you share a secret spot you like to hang out in the city?

MC: My home. Just kidding. Berlin is a very big city, so sometimes i just like to get a little bit lost in the areas that I don’t know that well yet. Otherwise, I love to sit bear the canal and have a Feierabend drink there. Its not that secret-ish though 😉

TN: Summer is not over yet and some of us will go on a break soon. What are your summer essentials?

MC: That’s easy! I will have in my suitcase the Marina Clutch from The Noces, one piece Swimsuit from Clo, sunglasses, lots of sunscreen, the Satin Slip Dress from my collection that you can wear day and night.

Find more ethical and conscious brands at MStore boutique (including our raffia bags!): Simon-Dach-Str. 1 10245 Berlin, Germany.

Happy summer!
x TN

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Raffia Straw Season

Hi all,

We are so excited that summer has just arrived! That only means straw and raffia season, sun, holidays and so much fun! What surprises did we prepare for you during these past few months?

A collaboration with our favorite wedding dresses brand – Celia Grace
This is an awesome brand that shares our sustainability values and principles: eco-friendly, with a strong sense of purpose and of course gorgeous dresses! We will have a special photo shoot with Celia Grace wedding dresses and our raffia handbags this summer – a perfect inspiration for boho and conscious brides-to-be! Follow us on social media not to miss anything when it is out!

An exclusive pop-up shop at The Hoxton Shoreditch in London, UK
Save the Date! Meet us on July 10, 6pm – 10pm for an evening summer shopping at 81 Great Eastern St at our favorite hotel in town. Come and try our raffia handbags, learn more about our brand story and have a good laugh with us! It will be curated by the team at I Love Designer – led by the lovely Sarah.

-A limited edition of raffia bags exclusively on our eshop!
Discover our Aya raffia handbag for a classy summer with its nude and black stripes and leather handles. It is in a very limited edition – shop now before it is too late! And the shout-out of the month goes to Shop Preservation, one of our stockists based in Des Moines, Iowa, US. Nicole Lorenson and her team will welcome you and help you find vintage and modern treasures to match with our raffia bags (including our Fiona raffia bucket bag – pictured it and credit goes to Shop Preservation).

Happy summer!
x TN

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