Behind Katya Komarova’s latest lookbook

Adelaide’s favourite leather goods label Katya Komarova has added a range of bold new styles to its collection in both leather and cotton. Katya founded her eponymous label in 2014, maintaining a strong focus on luxury, customisation and versatility, reflected still in the brand today.

Returning to her roots of leather, Katya’s latest release includes an update on her signature bucket bag; now available in black, brown and tan, with a range of interchangeable straps and handles in different colours and styles. She’s also introduced a range of new belts with the Double Belt Corset with Cotton Belts her most popular, having been featured in Adelaide Fashion Festival’s 2018 campaign. We caught up with Katya to get to know a bit more about what inspired her latest designs and how her brand is evolving.

We see you’ve recently updated your range! Can you tell us about the new styles? 

I’ve extended the range of my cotton belts, added a new corset and a bucket bag, which is available in three different colour-ways. There is now more versatility in every style; corsets have removable belts, and bags are complimented with interchangeable straps and handles. I want every piece to be as functional as it can be, creating a variety of different looks.

The Bucket Bag now features press-studs. What made you change the design?

I’ve been more innovative with the designs in my recent collections. I moved all the production to South Australia and was looking for an efficient way of producing high-end leather goods without a need for building a factory, as there was none available. I first tried to create stitch-free bags with rivets. For this season, I introduced press-studs, which not only allow me to produce a bag locally by cutting leather with a laser, but also to have a new feature. The bag can be unfolded and put in a suitcase without being damaged and then assembled again when needed – I was inspired by origami. Since launching the new hardware look I have already had a lot of positive feedback from my customers, so I hope the press-studs are here for good! And that one day, one of my bags can be assembled in-front of a customer in five minutes.

You have a range of different straps and handles available, which are all interchangeable. What is the most popular combination?

The Black Bucket Bag with a Black Strap is a classic combo and our best-seller. Since introducing extra handles, the ring handle is becoming popular as well. It’s a win-win, as it allows you to have a day bag with a strap and then you add the ring handle and it becomes an evening bag. The fur handle is also quite popular.

What’s your favourite piece from the latest styles?

I really like the Double Belt Corset. It’s essentially a 3-in-1 piece. You can wear it as it is or remove and wear the belts separately. You can even style the corset with belts you already have.

With this drop, you’ve shifted away from clothes and back to leather. How come?

I have so many plans to do so many things, but I’ve realised it’s better for me to grow organically, with something I am a true expert in. And that’s leather. So I decided to focus on accessories more for now. I will still have selected ready-to-wear pieces every now and then, but I want to give my full attention to my leather range.

What’s next for Katya Komarova?

My main focuses are to keep building a sustainable business and proudly produce locally. I am at the point where I can one hundred per cent say I am proud of what I am producing, how I’m doing this, as well as the values I am delivering to my customers. I proved through my recent One Handbag Challenge that you don’t really need much to look different everyday. I will keep promoting buying thoughtfully and getting the most wear out of your items, and growing this philosophy worldwide.

Photography by Ekaterina Shipova-Bell.

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