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Katya SS24 hair clips
Photography Antonio Mingot, Courtesy of Katya

The hottest accessories at LFW are Katya’s cute, kitschy crystal hair clips

Kate Iorga’s 90s and 00s inspired label counts Bella Hadid and FKA twigs as fans, and at London Fashion Week right now, you’re never more than a few feet away from her sparkly barrettes and baby clips

You’ve probably spotted Kate Iorga’s glittering, glinting bits and pieces on Insta. The London-based designer and stylist is the creative force behind Katya, which, in the two years since it was founded, has become the cool girl’s go-to for kitschy, 90s-inflected hair accessories. 

Beloved by the fashion crowd and practically unmissable amongst TikTok influencers across the globe, Katya’s kaleidoscopic clips and barrettes come studded with crystals, and call the likes of Bella Hadid, FKA twigs, and loads more fans. Right now, at London Fashion Week, you’re never more than a few feet from someone with a Katya-adorned chignon or clipped-back fringe.

Among those Iorga counts as a fan is model Alva Claire, who this season became the face of a new campaign for the brand. With her eclectic, off-kilter taste, Claire is exactly the kind of person the designer had in mind when the seeds for the label first started taking root back in the pandemic. “She was the dreamiest muse to bring the new collection to life,” explains Iorga. 

With the collection getting its launch last month – brightening up a sticky but gloomy grey London summer – we checked in with Iorga to talk reality TV obsessions, Tom Ford fixations, and the best and worst advice she’s ever been given.

Tell me a bit about you – where did you grow up? What did you study? 

Kate Iorga: I grew up in Camden in London. Growing up in Camden was chaotic but amazing. Every day after school me and my friends would go to Camden Market and trawl through Rokit for hours and then we’d sneak into The Barfly nightclub – the energy of a big city made me grow up very quickly. I knew I wanted to be in a creative career very early on so I did an art foundation at LCC and then a BA in fashion styling and photography at LCF.

How did you come to start Katya, what’s it all about? 

Kate Iorga: I had the idea during lockdown when everything was slowed down. I’d been working as a stylist in the fashion industry for many years so I needed a change and something to challenge myself. I was always obsessed with accessories and I thought it was the perfect segue while still remaining in the industry. I wanted to create something sexy and refined and elegant and accessible that everyone can feel glamorous wearing so that’s when the idea to launch Katya was born. 

When did you first realise the power of fashion? 

Kate Iorga: When I was very young I used to be obsessed with Fashion TV and I watched every single fashion show and model's profile they played on loop. McQueen, Valentino, and Galliano Dior Couture shows – the energy of these shows were unmatched. I loved how designers convey so much emotion in just a ten-minute show which is a craft in its own. It's everything leading up to it; the music, lighting, casting, all contribute to this fantasy. It was magical to get transported into their world. 

Coming from a fashion background and working closely with photographers and hair and make-up teams I love creating a narrative because it's never just about the product, it’s about the fantasy around it and how it makes people feel. There is something so powerful about storytelling through fashion imagery and creating characters and I hope that people are excited and inspired when they see Katya's visuals. 

What is your fave ever fashion show or collection? 

Kate Iorga: One of my all time favourite collections is Balenciaga SS06 by Nicholas Ghesquière. The details in the finale looks: the Rococo references, the embellishments, the ruffles and dreamy textures are all what comes to mind when I think of couture. I think the heavy silhouettes paired with the lightness and airiness of the colour palette is exquisite. 

Did you have a freakum dress growing up? 

Kate Iorga: Growing up I was obsessed with American Apparel. Anything tight, short, and slutty with a knee high sock. Very Hervé Léger meets indie sleaze. To be honest I still wear the same things 15 years later. However my definition of freakum dress is the SS03 Balenciaga blue dress Kylie Minogue wore in the “Slow” video. Perfection. 

What’s your go-to outfit to feel confident? 

Kate Iorga: OK if we have to talk about my dream outfit – it would either be the Carrie Bradshaw naked dress or the Dior Galliano AW05 Couture nude lace bustier dress Kate Moss wore to the CFDA Awards in 2005 – it’s just the perfect sexy nude illusion! Add a Manolo strappy sandal and you're good to go. 

How do you want to make people feel in Katya? 

Kate Iorga: I would love for people to feel confident and sexy wearing Katya. I hope Katya brings something modern and elevated to people's wardrobes. The goal is to complete the outfit with a Katya clip, the pièce de résistance if you will! 

Who is the Katya girl?

Kate Iorga: The Katya girls include Bella Hadid, Edie Campbell, Dina Asher-Smith, FKA twigs – all iconic strong sexy queens! 

Tell me about the inspiration behind this collection? 

Kate Iorga: I try not to stick to seasons because I want people to enjoy our clips all year round, so I was working with a classic colour palette such as pearlescent brown and gold and a contrasting hazel with glitter accents while still injecting a pop of colour using hot pink and rich pearlescent tangerine. For the campaign I wanted to keep it chic and pay homage to the 90s and 00s beauty campaigns. Keeping the hair quite sleek and structural while the makeup was soft and shimmery. Alva Claire was the dreamiest muse to bring this to life. 

What’s your weirdest internet obsession?

Kate Iorga: There’s an American YouTuber called HRH Collection who I’m totally obsessed with, she’s completely hilarious. She basically hates everything and just shouts at you but you can’t help but to stan!

Let your predictive text finish this sentence: I am a designer because…

Kate Iorga: I love fashions but people don’t know that I live for reality television. 

What’s the worst advice you’ve ever been given? And the best? 

Kate Iorga: Best advice: Just start. It doesn't need to be ready, it just has to start somewhere. We are conditioned to believe that everything has to be perfect and social media doesn't help this narrative but it’s the only way you will learn and grow and get better so just put yourself out there instead of sitting on your ideas. Also be nice, it’s so underrated! 

Worst advice: “It'll just be one drink!” 

What do you reckon you’re most likely to get cancelled for?

Kate Iorga: The limit does not exist *Lindsay Lohan voice* 

If you could only wear one designer for the rest of your life who would it be?

Kate Iorga: 100 per cent Tom Ford’s Gucci era [with some of his YSL era added for good measure]. A slinky silk dress circa 2001 paired with a Katya clip of course! Nobody can compete with the way Tom Ford created sexy clothes for women, they are so glamorous and completely for the female gaze. 

What would the line-up be in your nightmare blunt rotation?

Kate Iorga: Pete Burns, Kim Woodburn, and Davina McCall [can you tell I’m a Big Brother fan?]

What’s the last meme you saved? 

Kate Iorga: The confused lady trying to solve the maths equation where it’s not adding up  – because that's how I feel 24/7. Also any Nene Leakes reaction is up there on the roster. 

What would your ghost outfit be? 

Kate Iorga: Hands down the crystal top and jeans Beyoncé wore on the Dangerously in Love album cover. The sexiest album cover of all time. 

Who would you most love to see wearing your pieces? 

Kate Iorga: Carrie Bradshaw! And thanks to the season three renewal of AJLT my dream is not dead! 

CREDITS Creative Director Kate Iorga, Photographer Antonio Mingot, Talent Alva Claire, Art Director Nellie Eden, Stylist Lauren Anne Groves, Make-up Lynski, Hair Claire Moore, Nails Liia Zotova, Production Rosie Cartwright