Category: Katherena

Back to College

Back to College

This week I went back to college… not to study, but to give a talk to the current fashion students on the course that I was on from 2009-11. It was so strange being back there, as it was the first time in over six years!

I set up a table and split it into 3 sections: one for my old sketchbooks from college and University, one with magazines that I had worked on from my time as a stylist in London, and another with my Katherena products. The students and both of my old (and their current) tutors sat and listened while I spoke about these three times in my life. I explained how I adjusted my work style to suit my strengths, for example I am really bad at drawing and anything arty really, so I started to do my sketchbooks on the computer instead of by hand. This helped my confidence with my work when I was at University.

I also highlighted the importance of gaining experience after finishing college, whether going off to University or looking for a job. My internships got me to where I am today! I wanted the students to understand that the industry is very competitive and without reaching out to people or companies asking for experience, it would be very difficult to go on and get the job they desire. They were probably very shocked to hear of my working hours and pay as a stylist in London as well, but hopefully it was useful to them.

Finally, I spoke about Katherena and the work involved to get it up and running. Again, they were probably quite shocked to hear how long and hard the process was, but I think they all seemed interested. At the end of the session I let them come over and take a look at my old sketchbooks, magazines and the Katherena bags, which was really nice to interact with them and hear their thoughts. I was nervous at the very beginning, but I’m so glad I done it!

college west anglia katherena bags  college west anglia katherena bags

Happy World Vegan Day

Happy World Vegan Day

We are so proud to not use any animal materials in our products, and it was a huge part of the initial startup process where I had to choose the perfect supplier to make our bags.

I knew from the get-go that I would never use real leather, fur, etc. in the Katherena bags simply because I don’t see the need for it when there are so many other options available. Even though fake leathers aren’t the most sustainable and eco friendly, it is something that I am passionate about and am always thinking of new ways to improve this. Hopefully in the future I can use materials that are both animal friendly and even more environmentally friendly too.


We're coming to Brent Cross this weekend!

We’re coming to Brent Cross this weekend!


This weekend we are going to be heading down to London for Brent Cross shopping centre’s pop up shop, and we are so excited to see all the happy shoppers that are out and about! It’s going to be a busy one.

If you are going to be there Saturday or Sunday and are interested in buying one of our bags then why not get yourself a lovely 20% off by saying ‘I’ve read your blog post’. This will apply to all of the products currently on our website only, as we will be bringing some in-store only bags that are perfect for winter and priced at just £20!

Feel free to get in touch with us if you have any questions regarding this event.


Katie x

Interview with Cylex

Interview with Cylex

Accessories are just as much a part of fashion history as specific types of apparel. There are classic, timeless accessories that remain in fashion year after year, as well as trendy items that quickly become popular then fade as new looks are introduced to the scene.

Cylex: Who is behind Katherena Bags?

Katherena: Katie Sykes, a 24 year old Fashion Promotion graduate who worked as a celebrity stylist assistant in London for a year before setting up the brand.

Cylex: What experience do you have in this field and where did you learn most of the things you know?

Katherena: I have experience as a stylist- like I said in the intro, because I worked for a celebrity stylist on the X-Factor for work experience and then full time after I graduated. I also have experience in PR after doing an internship for a PR and Events company that was also based in London. I learn as I go! Each day brings new challenges that I must overcome. I think when you run a business by yourself you learn how to do every aspect of the job by putting yourself into each role.

Cylex: What brings you inspiration and when do you get most of your ideas?

Katherena: I like to travel, (not just overseas, but all over the country). This is where I would say I get inspired, whether it be a building or a plant. I’m constantly looking at what people are wearing and taking note of anything different as well.

Cylex: What are the materials that you use for your products? Do they all have origins within UK?

Katherena: I don’t use any animal materials, and am very passionate about this. We use PU leather and polyester twill for our current bags, and they come from China.

Cylex: What is in style for this autumn- winter? How about for the coming year?

Katherena: We don’t take seasonal trends too seriously at Katherena because we believe our bags are year-round items that can be worn for all occasions. But, the colours for A/W this year are; autumn shades of khaki, natural beige and rocky grey.

Cylex: How does a regular day look like for you?

Katherena: I get up at 7.30am, have my breakfast (cannot leave the house without it), and get to the office around 8.30am. Every day is different, I could spend the entire day at the office on my laptop doing emails and Facebook ads, and the next day I could be in London at a trade show. I like the variety!

Fashion mavens are well-aware that accessories can make or break an outfit. This simple fact is just as true today as it has been throughout the long history of fashion’s evolution.

(To see the original interview click here)



Hi Guys!

I just wanted to remind everyone that we are still running a competition in collaboration with blogger ‘The Frenchie Mummy’ to win your fave trunk bag worth £100. All you have to do to enter is follow us both on Twitter (see handles below) and then click this link where you will find the entry >

For ‘The Frenchie Mummy’ it’s @frenchiemummy and ours is @katherenauk, so get following us and make sure you enter the comp! Please feel free to tweet us letting us know what colour you would pick, as this is going to help us when designing the next range of Trunk bags.

Katherena designer vegan bags

Oh, and happy Friday! 🙂

K x

about us

A little about me & my journey so far

Ever since I was in my early teens I’ve known I wanted a career in fashion. I used to watch The Hills on MTV and would fantasise about working in America & in Vogue’s fashion cupboard.

When I left school I done the Fashion and Clothing diploma at college, which taught me all about the art, design and making process of clothes- but this wasn’t what I enjoyed, so when looking into Universities, I applied for promotion type courses (which consisted of photography, styling and marketing aspects of the industry).

Whilst studying the Promotion with Styling course at UCLan I made sure to gain work experience and internships alongside the degree- which I believe taught me a lot more than the course itself! One of my internships was assisting the stylists on the X-Factor (one of my dream jobs) and I ended up working for the head stylist full time when I graduated the following year. Unfortunately, as much as I LOVED the job, I really couldn’t cope living in London by myself, so I ended up moving back home to my parents to set up Katherena.
Funnily enough, I’m now back to doing more of the art & design role within my business. It’s completely different though when you get to design a product that someone highly skilled in that area can then produce for you, rather than designing something you know would be easy & quick enough to make by yourself. I also love the fact that I do get to do the promotion part as well, in fact, I actually do every part of the job which I think is crucial when running a startup business.
I’m looking forward to seeing what will happen over the next few years 🙂
Katie x

Pure London

It’s the end of the working week again, which means it’s only two weeks until I head down to London for the Pure trade show. This will be my first ever trade show with Katherena (I have done plenty with my Dad for his company), so I am very excited! And slightly nervous.

Pure is the UK’s leading trade show for the fashion industry, and takes place twice a year, fitting with seasonal trends. As I am a new brand I have been allocated a stand in the capsule collection, so I am looking forward to meeting other new brands on their stands nearby.

Next week I will make sure I have everything prepared for the show so that I don’t have any last minute panics!

Dalegate Pop-Up Shop

Dalegate Pop-Up Shop

This week is a very exciting week, as I will be doing my first ever pop-up shop!

I have always wanted to have my own shop- and even though this one comes in the form of a little beach hut- it is still a fairly big deal and something that I have been planning since Christmas time.

I will be collecting the keys and setting up this Wednesday and then I start trading on Thursday through to next Tuesday. The location of the shop is on the North Norfolk coast, in a cute little village called Burnham Deepdale. Click here for more info on Dalegate shopping & cafe services.

Katherena designer vegan bags