Photography by Aljohn Gaviola
Kate S. Mensah originally hails from the fashion capital of the world, Paris. As a fashion designer and kickboxing instructor, creativity, style, and passion flow through her veins. She is easily one of the most exquisite people in Seattle, and it shows in her designs. By combining Parisian femme, powerful African heritage, and Asian inspiration, her aesthetic is a diverse take on luxury apparel.
She lives and joins her passions—fitness and fashion—to empower women inspired by textures and the fusion of cultures. Mensah’s being and work embody the yin and yang of intensity and softness, aggressiveness and kindness. When she is not training or designing, she is practicing boxing and kickboxing, as well as hot yoga. She finds time for travel, too, to immerse herself in cultures around the world.
As one of the leaders of the fashion industry in Seattle, Mensah is seen at all noteworthy fashion events as both a guest and designer. Her 2011 collection, Femme Fatale, won Seattle Magazine’s Seamless in Seattle Competition. Her 2012 collection, The Visionnaire, was launched at Seattle’s Metropolitan Fashion Week and earned her a Best Designer nomination. Her ensembles have added flair to runways such as Bellevue Fashion Week‘s first Independent Designer Runway Show in 2013, and in 2014 her line was nominated for the category of “Women’s Evening Wear of the Year” for DList magazine’s annual award show.
Mensah’s bags are among her most popular and notable creations. Each design represents and is named after empowering women that she has met in life and travels. They are handcrafted to be soft and strong, dual qualities that translate to the men and women who carry them. They are also intentionally asymmetric, a poetic reminder that every one and every day is distinctly different.
The Style Fold Shoot
Multicolor African wax skirt and black silk cotton/lace turtleneck by Kate S. Mensah. Black Leather embossed tote, Sarah by Kate S. Mensah. Black and White silk gown by Kate S. Mensah.
Locations: Fly Fitness and Kirkland Marina at Carillon Point.
Kate S. Mensah creates luxury apparel and accessories that give strong women the ability to express their bold personal style in their everyday life, without sacrificing functionality and practicality. Noticeably chic details with subtle textures, unique color combinations, and culturally based fusions are hallmarks of Kate’s work. Clients look to her for a way to express their own creativity, with designs that are fresh and feminine, and have just the right amount of edge.
Photographer Aljohn Gaviola @a_jgav28 is co-founder of Sea The City, showcasing the culture, people, and surroundings that are uniquely Seattle. Follow @sea_thecity on Instagram!