Text by Sarah Ward.
Photos by Kalynn Friesen.
Kaych is a Toronto-based clothing line described by Howard as fresh, feminine and for everyday wear. The unique name ”Kaych” is, according to Howard, a made up word, meant to sound like her initials when said together. “I wanted something that didn’t really imply any kind of style because I’m young. I’m just starting out – my style can change over the years. [I was looking for] something that [would] work with my own progression. [Kaych is also] personal because this is very much a personal endeavor.”
A line originally started as a part-time project on Etsy, and Howard says she had fully jumped into designing by March 2011. Her success since then has escalated quickly, and Kaych has received attention from “a lot of blogs, online magazines … and online stores,” something Howard adds is one of the line’s greatest accomplishments to date.
Howard has an incredible work ethic. Graduating at the age of 19 from The International Academy of Design, she was offered a job immediately out of school with a Toronto-based bridal designer. “I got right into the [fashion] industry [after] graduation, which is really rare,” she says. She worked in bridal design for two and a half years, and claims that is where her work ethic and perfectionism stemmed from.
In 2010, Howard traveled to Whistler to volunteer at the 2010 Winter Olympics. The people she met in B.C. and their mentality inspired her to create her own line. Upon returning to Toronto, she landed a job with Canadian fashion designer Joeffer Caoc – one of her favourite designers – and learned hands on about ready-to-wear fashion.
“Ready-to-wear was something I’ve always wanted to do,” Howard says excitedly. “It got to a point where I [reflected] ‘I think I’ve learned everything, I think I’m ready for this’ and I jumped for it.”
Kaych designs are “versatile … and can be dressed up and dressed down”. The spring/summer 2011 line is inspired by Holly Golightly, the pieces are very chic, but can work for any time of the day when paired with the proper accessories. Howard, professing her love for New York City, says that when developing this year’s collection she started with the fabrics that she had, which were black and white. “When I think of black and white, I think chic and Audrey Hepburn. I started thinking of the idea of this girl living in New York City … and I just went with it.”
All of Kaych pieces are Canadian made. Howard is refreshingly proud of her country, and the fact that she is part of the Canadian fashion industry.
With a clear view of her goals for Kaych, Howard is setting up to become a new Canadian fashion success.
To find out more about Kaych, visit http://www.kaych.ca