We love getting to pick the minds of creative people and girl bosses who follow their dreams. So, you can imagine our delight to virtually sit down with designer Catherine Kowalski of Catherine Kowalski Bridal! Not only does she get to create gorgeous gowns for one of the most important occasions in a woman’s life, but also, would you believe it if we told you she had her sights set on designing for as long as she can remember? Below, Catherine will fill you in on all the details of actualizing her dreams while we peek inside her workspace!
Tell us about how you got your start in fashion! Did you always want to be a designer?
I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to be a designer. Becoming one has been a lifelong goal, and it defines me as an individual. By recognizing this early on, I had the foresight to take advantage of every opportunity that could lead me to be where I am today. I’m incredibly fortunate to have been surrounded by strong female role models and mentors for most of my life. They acknowledged my love for fashion design and provided me with opportunities to learn about the industry through hands-on experiences. I truly believe that this helped to cultivate my passion from a young age and pushed me to pursue becoming a designer as a career.
Of all the items of clothing we wear during our lifetime, a wedding gown is the most memorable. I consider it a true honor to be a part of a woman’s big day, and moreover, her life, through her wedding gown.
When did you decide to launch your own line?
Believe it or not, at age 11. But I officially launched my line in 2017.
We love your gowns! How did you develop your style? Does your bridal wear reflect your own personal style?
Growing up, every Sunday my mom and I would watch Hollywood classics on TCM (the Turner Classic Movie channel) together. The fashion in those films shaped my approach and style. Auntie Mame, starring Rosalind Russell, changed my life! Not only were the clothes incredible, the message of living and dressing everyday as if it was your last is something that really stuck with me. Through my line I try to emulate the craftsmanship and timeless feel that I was exposed to and fell in love with as a child.
The color blue is a trademark for me. I’ve always been drawn to the color, and more often than not, can be spotted wearing a shade of it! My love for the color carries into my collections, as I offer many gowns in blue. I’ve found that I’m not the only one who loves the color! So many brides, traditional and not, have chosen my gowns in the color!
How do you get inspired for every collection?
Life in general! But I have found that often times the greatest moments of inspiration I’ve experienced come to me when I’m on vacation! I tend to let all the little things go and am open to whatever experiences, or inspiration, comes my way.
Favorite dress you’ve ever designed?
Hands down the Stevie. It was one of my (two) wedding dresses. It brought me so much joy to dance and move in, and I’ve found that its style speaks to a group of women who don’t otherwise feel represented in the bridal market.
In 5 years find me:
As a brand, hopefully you’ll find us worldwide! Personally, splitting my time between Brooklyn and San Francisco, my hometown.
Photos by Quyn Duong
If you weren't a dress designer, what you want to be:
Favorite Brooklyn Brunch spot:
Favorite way to unwind: