Founded in 2021, Kitten Studio has gone from Bristolian Charlie Keighley’s lockdown pastime to her fulltime love. “My Kitten journey started because I was on furlough, I had a lot of time on my hands, and lots of clothes I didn’t wear anymore.” 

Named after Keighley’s kitten, Kitten Studio offers sourced vintage pieces, re-worked secondhand and vintage items, and limited collections made out of deadstock fabrics. The vintage part of Kitten is currently based on Depop, and the re-worked items and limited collections on Kitten Studio’s own website

The Summer Nights Capsule offers a modern twist of Y2K, enhanced by striking colours and exclusive deadstock fabrics. The saturated colours, who very much resemble the Google logo colours, in a good way, work well with the toned-down beige and light grey elements, and gives the collection endless possibilities. The straight legged Isla trousers give a classic silhouette, but stands out with the edgy spaghetti tie detail wrapped around the waist. The standout of the collection is the one-shoulder Vinnie dress, bias-cut in 100% silk with a gathered seam wiggling its way from the one shoulder to the opposite hem. Rouching and asymmetrical details are seen throughout both the collection and Keighley’s style design style.

The collection combines a range of textures, colours, and silhouettes to create a cohesive and versatile range that can be mixed and matched. It can be purchased on (link),with prices ranging from £40 to £180.

The marriage of masculine and feminine is the base for Keighley when sourcing and designing for Kitten. “I was never too girly, a little bit of skater and a little bit of ballet dancer, a combination of those two things is what I am drawn to”, she explains. The re-worked and sourced items from Kitten studio carries the design style from Keighley’s capsule collection. Sinched details, oversized trousers and jackets and detailed tops can be seen in all areas of the brand.

Keighley’s love for secondhand comes from her mother. “My mom was a hard charity shopper, so I learned from the best,” she says with a laugh. “You never know what you will find, and there’s such an excitement in that.”

In 2015 Keighley graduated from Central Saint Martin’s with a bachelor’s degree in jewellery design, and while she says it was a great place for her to explore fashion, she started a buying role at Topshop after graduating. “It was an amazing experience; I just loved the buzz of it and the environment, I was surrounded by the fast pace of the fashion world.” 

After working at Topshop and Topshop Boutique for a few years lockdown happened, and like many other people Keighley went on furlough. “The Kitten journey started because I had a lot of time on my hands, and lots of clothes I wanted to sell”, the founder explains. Her days were spent styling and shooting her clothes, and when they were sold, she turned to sourcing new items to sell, and with 23.2k followers and more than 1500 items sold on her Depop it seems that Keighley was not the only one who loved it.

Her last few years at Topshop were spent in their boutique department, which was a more sustainable part of the fast fashion giant with production being based in London deadstock fabrics, “which I felt a lot more comfortable with”, Keighley says. It was her time with Topshop Boutique that made her realise how important the sustainable aspect of fashion was to her. 

It’s so lovely to explore the fashion creative side of myself without the guilt of working for a huge fashion conglomerate. There was something in that which was really heavy. But this feels like part of the good. The good fight.

Topshop Boutique was a part of Topshop, and offered a high-street and more grown-up option, in a bid to appeal more fashion-conscious customers. Designed in house and produced in smaller London factories, Topshop Boutique offered a more luxurious and a little more sustainable option.

When her furlough ended Topshop had been bought by Asos, and the boutique part had been cut, Keighley was faced with going back to Topshop without the boutique that she had spent so much time growing, or stay with Kitten Studio and see where it could go. “I decided to stay with Kitten, which I’ve been doing full time for the last year, and I just love it. It’s my baby.”

Kitten Studio’s re-worked shirts start off as men’s button ups in XXL, sourced at varying secondhand- and charity shops, and are then cinched in at flattering points around the waist and bust. “It allows it to have that touch of sexiness while still maintaining the baggier manly aspect,” Keighley explains. “When I first designed the shirt, I put one on and just wrapped myself in thread trying to see what looked cool. It’s a lot of trial and error to be honest, but then I find something that works and then I’ll source loads of similar items and do it to a batch.”

The Summer Night collection was Keighley’s first time designing a whole collection from scratch. Designed in her home studio, using deadstock fabrics and produced at an ethical factory in London. “For the collection I had to buy 10 to 20 units of each item, which is understandable for the factory,” she explains. “But going forward I much prefer the made to order model because it allows for no wastage, both garment- and money wise.”

Though she has loved creating from scratch, her main focus for this spring and summer is vintage. “I’m traveling around different cities in Europe to source some really amazing vintage. It’s all very exciting,” Keighley says.“See what’s in front of you, and create from there.”

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