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Rising Stars: Meet Kae of Kaotic Kultura

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kae of Kaotic Kultura.

Hi Kae, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I grew up in South East LA, in a Mexican household where my mom taught me the value in being resourceful with what I had because she knew what it was like to have nothing. Being wasteful was never an option. From hoarding plastic bags to using butter tubs as Tupperware and never knowing what’s inside them, my mom instilled in me: “Que todo se puede usar más de una vez”, “everything can be used more that once”. I carried that on with me for the rest of my life.

For as long as I could remember, we would take trips to the thrift store. I never knew it was used clothing until I was older. My mom did a good job of making those trips exciting. I got my first pair of Uggs there; it was definitely a proud mom moment for her at the time. Growing up, I was obsessed with shows like The Nanny and That’s So Raven which helped spark my interest in fashion, along with the beauty of my culture and those around me.

I’ve always had an interest in fashion but never had the confidence or freedom to dive deep and explore that side of who I was.

For a long time, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life, but in the process of finding myself, I resparked my love for fashion and decided I wanted to start a clothing line. The more I learned about the fashion industry and its effects on people’s lives and the planet, the more I knew I didn’t want to be a part of it.

It was a conflicting moment for me. That’s when I decided to be the change I wanted to see in the world. So, I began to rework clothes instead. I’m constantly inspired by my people, La Cultura, and the different palate of flavors we all bring to the table. I wanted to create a clothing line that not only prioritized sustainability but that also represents the beauty in diversity and helps advocate for voices that aren’t being heard.

Through growth, chaos, trial, and error, my brand has manifested into what it is now. I want people to feel something and encourage conversations through the clothing I make. I hope to inspire others to create and use their voice, to change the way we look at fashion, and to value the lives of people making the garments we wear while keeping the planet beautiful. But most importantly, I want to inspire others to be the change they wish to see in the world too.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
When I first decided to start my brand, I had designs planned out, I met with people who could help me bring ideas to life. I had everything ready to go but then life happened.

My sister, unfortunately, got into drugs. I stopped everything to foster my nephew. Once he was relocated with my mom (and his brothers). I never got to process anything that happened. I didn’t know it at the time but I fell into a depression, for months I didn’t have the mental capacity to be creative or grow. My girlfriend and I sold everything we owned and moved across the country. After therapy and a lot of healing, I was in a place where I could create again. That’s when my brand had a rebirth.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I make reworked and upcycled clothing from recycled materials. I like to take things like purses or blankets to recreate a piece of clothing. I want to change the way we look at fashion.

I am most proud of my growth and how far I’ve come being a self-taught creator and designer. I think what sets me apart from others is that I stand up for what I believe in no matter the circumstances and my brand is a direct reflection of that.

What has been the most important lesson you’ve learned along your journey?
Everything happens for a reason so trust the process.


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