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  • Writer's pictureElle

Connecting with Katharina Mildren from Katharina Lou.

*We aim to aspire to inspire as we chat to others, picking their brains, exploring their gifts and practices.


All posts are raw & unedited because f**k none of us are perfect & it is time to celebrate that - I'm here for the honest & real, you?



Who are you?


My Names Katharina Mildren and I’m the founder and designer of Katharina Lou, made-to-order Fashion label based in Melbourne.


What sets your soul on fire?

When I'm in design flow. When I don't have to think about anything other than being creative & designing what makes me happy and feels good on my body.


How do you share your gift with others?

Selling my pieces that I hand craft myself. I love when I see people wearing my garments and I get to go - I didn't just design that I actually spent my time making it! I also incorporate the people I love in everything I do. My friends and family are my muses. My most recent campaign shoot I organized to spend a day with my best friends, we glammed up, danced and got to dress up and feel amazing in the clothing.

What environmental or conscious traits do you practice?

I never want to create anything that won’t be purchased and loved for a long time, so being sustainably responsible is a big part of my mission. I am currently running a Made-To-Order model for my designs, and only when I sell a certain amount/ can't keep up with the demand of sewing them myself will I put the pieces into production. This means I never have stock left over and nothing is created that isn't going to someone who has purchased it to treasure it.

I also run at a very low waste, my garments are designed and pattern made with the width of the fabric in mind so I can create more pieces in a roll or include the fabric in the garment. For the unavoidable offcuts I have designed a top called the “Whats Left Top '' that are all one off mis-matched pieces that have been very popular! I also create garments using textiles made from the smaller offcuts, including the fabric to make the hats in one of my collaborations and a patch detail of my tshirts. This leaves only about a box of small unusable textile waste each month that I have collected by Upcycle.




What do you think we are about to see a lot of in your industry?

Small creative domination. I think consumers are caring more about the stories behind the clothing as well as the people behind it rather than just what you put on your body. I'm finding a lot of people interested in my label as a way to support me and continue my craft.



What was your journey to making your passion your everyday?

Being alone (during a big lockdown), being heartbroken and living in a city away from all my friends and family, played a big part in getting me where I am today. Getting through such a big change and challenge in my life forced me to lean into Katharina Lou in a way I don't think I would have otherwise. I feel connected to my craft and my brand in an unbreakable way.


What do you wish you could have told your teenage self?

To constantly look outside your bubble. There's so much more to the world than how you see it right now.







What has a challenge been when establishing your work / business?

The hardest part is starting. Justifying to myself that creating my own label was something I was allowed to do, was hard. There's so much pressure to do well in school, go to university, get a full time job and work your way up. I felt so unfulfilled working in the rolls that were supposed to be something I always wanted. I just told myself that I wasn’t working hard enough, but having the guts to go- actually no, I want to start my own label and then follow on from that for probably a year and a half before people took it seriously and I started making money was the biggest struggle.


It's a great tool now because when something gets hard for me, I can look back and know that I did that so whatever hits me next can't be that bad.



What has been your favourite moment so far for your work / business?

Working with my friends! My most recent photoshoot is a day I'll look back on and cherish forever.


Whats next?

Eeek!! I'm just trying to get back to designing now. The business side is taking over, which is great as it's bringing more opportunity. But with


that opportunity I want to get more creative. Learn more skills and push myself with my style and craft.


How would you describe your day-to-day


work life?

I'm still learning day to day what works best. I work for myself which is the biggest blessing but also setting boundaries on work and life balance is taking time and I have to take it slow.


Being constantly creative, how do you balance?

Balance is something I'm also working on. Getting out of the city on the weekends and in nature really helps me focus on the weekdays. I also try to move around where I work to keep. Popping to coffee shops, meeting friends during the day or after work to break it up always helps. Trying to exercise every day is also a must for me.


What does your perfect day look like?

Sunshine. Wearing a very colorful outfit that I've made myself . A few hours of sewing and creating. Spending time with my best friends. Dancing.




What was your childhood like?

I had the best childhood which I'm very grateful for. My parents are so supportive and have always made me feel like I can achieve anything.


Advice for anyone wanting to start in your field.

Just start! Be brave and put yourself out there. Also get to know the business and numbers side. It's so important to be on top of.


Who do you pull inspiration from?

My group of best friends and how we are constantly there for each other through everything. The bond and power of female friendships always moves and inspires me.






Advice you wish you had known?

As I said before, the hardest part is starting. I think in this world where talent and creativity is abundant. The difference between you and the next person is your persistence and just doing it.


Reflecting on your growth as an individual / brand, how do you feel?

It's easy to get caught up in the moment and forget how hard you've worked & where you started. It's nice to sit and reflect every once and a while, which I do get to when I write like this. I feel eternally grateful for the people who have shaped me and helped me to where I am now. I am also very proud of myself for my hard work and staying true and authentic to me.







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