4/11/20

Spotlight on KAI Collective

We've welcomed KAI Collective into the HURR Family! ⁠

Founded by Fisayo Longe, you'll certainly recognise the patterned mesh Gaia dresses, hailed the dress of 2020 that sold out in seconds. Available to rent exclusively from £15, tap the link to discover the edit!

When did it hit you that 2020 is—as fans of the brand say—the year of KAI?

To be honest, it still hasn’t hit me. With every release that sells out and every magazine feature, including Elle UK’s September cover story and Vogue NL’s September issue, I am in complete disbelief and I think that it’s a random fluke. It’s almost like I’m scared to accept the fact. I hope I do before the end of the year! It’s just been so difficult to get here that I can’t believe that it’s actually really taking off now.

Describe KAI in three words.

Confident, Limitless, Original.

What are your influences - from personal style to business?

My personal style is inspired by so much in my everyday life. It could be the way the sun sets on a particular day or some cool packaging I got in the mail. I get so much design inspiration when I travel and I love studying and observing different cultures and people. I still love Tumblr- I find so much cool stuff on there! I just love women who wear whatever they want, confidently.

In business, my greatest inspiration for the past few years has been Sara Blakely of Spanx. I just love her tenacity, originality, and I also love that she spent a lot of her 20’s and 30’s focusing completely on building an iconic brand and not succumbing to the pressure of marriage and starting a family until she was 37. I am inspired by women who prioritise themselves and do what they truly want. I am also really loving the entrepreneur that Rihanna has grown to be! She championed diversity before it became a buzzword. Lastly, I am super inspired by how innovative Anifa Mvuemba of Hanifa is! Her digital fashion show during lockdown was game changing and a wake up call for the entire industry!

Is there a story behind the famed Gaia dress?

I worked with Adebusola Ekoko of Grapes Pattern Bank to make different prints for SS20 and what came to be known as Gaia was one of them. I made a moodboard and was inspired by bright colours, African art, and fluidity. She said her design process was heavily inspired by the sound of my voice during our meetings. I knew there was something special about the print but only after I sampled it did I see how truly beautiful it is. I wore the dress for the Bafta’s rising star awards party and have never had such a reaction to anything I’ve worn. After that, it was so clear that the dress was going to be a bestseller!

Why are you excited to be a part of the HURR Family?

I love what Hurr stands for. I believe in wearing your outfits over and over and over again! I would never buy something to wear just once and I don’t understand how that was ever a thing. I think that Hurr is a game changer and it feels great to be part of this!

Favourite piece from the HURR x KAI Rental Edit & what's next for KAI?

It’s got to be one of the Gaia’s. I love the Zanaya dresses- I really love them actually. But, as everyone says, 2020 is the year of the Gaia! I am currently excited about a new product line for SS21!

Credits:
@kaicollective

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