Danielle Cathari is the designer everyone wants to wear, the designer everyone can afford, but is somehow always sold out.
I discovered Danielle Cathari accidentally last month while I was strolling through the Los Angeles outpost Kith. Kith is the latest ne- plus-ultra streetwear brand, known for sourcing white-hot sneaker styles and hi-low designer streetwear collabs with major brands like Versace that given the elevated style and relatively low price point sell out instantly.
It’s possible that Danielle Cathari is a name you haven’t heard of yet – even if you’re a fashion insider. I admit that she slipped under my fashion radar when this 22 year old AMFI student from Amsterdam launched her debut runway show at New York Fashion Week in February when she was the first student to win the prestigious VFiles prize which is normally awarded to established designers.
Wow! I stopped dead in my tracks when I stumbled on the floor-to-ceiling poster while shopping in Kith of a girl wearing the red, deconstructed reworked and revamped iconic Adidas tracksuit. Where did the idea come from? Cathari told Office Magazine in February: “For this collection, it was to find a balance between the rational and the emotional, which is also very personal. This is also a balance between perfection and imperfection. Being rational is about achieving perfection and being emotional is all about embracing imperfection. With my collection I wanted to give something for your mind to think about, by combining different elements that at first sight don’t make sense rationally but feel right emotionally.”
All I know was when I saw Cathari’s interpretation of the sweatsuit, I thought this is the best thing to happen to streetwear since Run DMC laced up their sneakers and busted out the rhyme ‘My Adidas’. Interrogating the tattooed, dreadlocked sales clerk, who told me with a sympathetic look that the jacket was not yet in the store. “Come back Saturday morning when it drops… or you can try online”. I asked the salesperson to call me and sell it to me over the phone since I would be traveling that weekend. He promised to notify me when it was available, but Cathair’s suit would sell out coast-to-coast at Kith before the clerk could even dial my number, or I could login to Kith’s online store to try to make the purchase. Determined, my hunt began.
Here’s a shopping tip: Don’t sleep on ASOS. This online fast fashion retailer is the answer for a lot of fashion needs including evening wear and ASOS aid exactly where I scored this $180 head-turning, statement-making sweat suit. Now, sharing the love is one of my true sources of joy in fashion, but this suit sold out so fast I couldn’t even buy another when I wanted to gift one to a friend. Let me tell you, this little number saves me on the weekends, makes me look chic on a flight and when my kids have stuff where I need to hangout this is my go to uniform. “I’m jealous!”, “I want that”, “I’d pay anything for that sweatsuit” are the covetous cries of praise from my fashion friends.
Cathari’s work deserves every bit of the attention she’s getting. She has a deft tailor’s hand and a unique design vocabulary that is just beginning to tell a story all her own. How do you get your hands on one of her creations? If you’re looking for this collectible sweatsuit you will unfortunately have to pay dearly. The going rate is around $900.00 on sites like EBay, The Grail and Depop. Personally, I’m not ready to drop that kind of cash for nylon warm ups, no matter how cleverly designed they may be. Google alerts are always an option when you’re tracking down something special with sold-out status. You can Google how to set up these alerts, but essentially you’ll get notified anytime something pertaining to the item pops up on the internet.
Women supporting women is an objective close to my heart. Currently, women hold on 25% of leadership positions employed as head designers or otherwise in the fashion industry. Having a female gaze defining femininity is an essential part of the fashion conversation. Cathari says of her work in V-Magazine (Part of the same organization that awarded her capsule Collection for Adidas a place on the catwalk at New York Fashion Week last February), that her women’s clothes are inspired by menswear, but her message is moving towards a unisex conversation about fashion. While what is available now is still limited to jean jackets (and the Adidas deconstructed tracksuit if you can get it), don’t forget that Cathari is currently a full time undergrad student – this young designer is one not only to watch but to collect. She’s got a lot to say.
story x @veronicawebb
photos x @laurelcreativeteam
makeup x @marc_cornwall
tracksuit x @daniellecathari for @adidasoriginals
jacket x @azzedinealaiaofficial
shoes x @brianatwood
t-shirt x @majestic
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