An Australian label by Catriona Byrne and Simon Beckingham
View recent Katzi collections on Australian Fashion Review Blog.
Hailing from the shores of the UK and Ireland, designers Catriona Byrne and Simon Beckingham, launched their accessories label ‘KATZI’ following a round-the-world adventure that included living in London, exploring South East Asia’s golden triangle, traversing the deserts of India and trekking both South America’s jungles and the Himalayas mountain range.
On their return to Sydney, the couple went on to study silver smithing and jewellery design, givig them the necessary experience needed to start their own accessory brand. In 2003, the duo launched their label as a way of expressing the cultural diversity, vibrancy and colour they saw whilst travelling the globe. In 2007, Katzi expanded their product line from just jewellery, to include a range of leather accessories, and more recently added leather apparel, including fashion-forward jackets, trousers and tees into their seasonal offerings.
To create their seasonal collections the brand uses the finest quality, luxury materials where possible, such as silver, rose gold and leather. To create the signature Katzi look the leather is vegetable dyed and the brand experiments with enzyme washing and oxidising to create different and distinct finishes on their jewellery pieces. It is the unique Katzi aesthetic that has won the brand a number of celebrity fans including, Nicole Richie, Cat Deely, Guy Sebastian and Kellan Lutz.
Both Catriona and Simon are passionate about the environment and are therefore aware about the possible impact of fashion on the environment. The pair constantly work to ensure all of their products are manufactured according to strict international guidelines, to make sure all the principles of fair trade are followed.
As of 2012, the Katzi accessory collections were available throughout Australia in select boutiques including Queensland’s Violet Green and Angus Black; Victoria’s Style Society and Aurelia Boutique; and New South Wales’ Sissy White and Kate Sylvester. In addition the label is stocked in some of New York’s most prestigious stores including Pixie Market, Dado Boutique and Ideeli.
Back in March of 2011, Catriona and Simon were kind enough to have a quick chat with Australian Fashion Review Blog about their growing accessories label.
Who are behind the Katzi label and what are your background’s?
Catriona Byrne & Simon Beckingham started KATZI in Sydney in 2003.
How did it all start for Katzi? When and where was the label founded?
Having both studied silver smithing and jewellery design we decided to start a small label at Bondi markets. Soon we had a following and so the brand was born. We’re now stocked nationally throughout Australia in some of the best boutiques in the country. Since starting out with Jewellery we have branched into leather apparel and bags. We are also busy behind the scenes developing and producing designs for the likes of GP, Witchery Man, George, Kate Sylvester and Cooper…From humble beginnings to great things!
What does Katzi specialise in?
We specialise in unisex accessories – namely silver and precious metal jewellery, leather bags and small leather goods such as wallets and some special clothing items (like the gorgeous on trend shearling jackets).
What are the future plans for the Katzi?
To grow and become and respected house hold name in Australia and abroad, and to open a concept flagship store in Sydney.
Name some inspirations and fellow designers you draw influence from.
Travel is probably our biggest inspiration, as well as street style. Fellow designers… God where to start?? Alexander Wang, Philip Lim, Dominick Jones, Stella McCartney, ETRO, Thakoon, to name but a few.
Name the ideal celebrity that reflects Katzi’s style, or if celebrities have already worn the label – who are they?
People are celebrities – anyone who wears KATZI is an ideal ‘celebrity’. We love real people. Individuality and how people interpret things themselves is a big thrill and source of inspiration.
But if you want me to nail it, probably Erin Wasson or Kate Moss for women and Johnny Depp for guys. Nicole Ritchie and Cat Deely have both sported KATZI bags.
Where is the label stocked?
All over the country but a few are :– Maple in Newtown and Balmain, and The Anne and Tuchuzy in Bondi.