News & Runway

Designer to Watch: Ekaterina Malysheva of EKAT

Ekat

Image: Courtesy of EKAT

Meet Ekaterina Malysheva, the Emmy-winning filmmaker-turned-designer who is single-handedly bringing back the catsuit with her new brand EKAT. Care to know more? So did we.

theFashionSpot: Before you launched EKAT in 2013, you made documentaries. How did you get into fashion?

Ekaterina Malysheva: By complete coincidence. The film I was working on went into post-production and I needed to get another job. I saw a niche in the “catsuit market” and started a little project which expanded and became EKAT. 

tFS: What’s your design background?

EM: In regards to education, I went to London College of Fashion. My background in design comes from a keen interest in travel and a love of arts.

tFS: Rumor has it that the idea of EKAT came to you at Burning Man. 

EM: I was complaining to a man I met on the playa about how I need to find a job. He pointed out that during our conversation a vast number of girls and boys complimented the catsuit I was wearing and on several occasions asked me where I made my purchase. He told me to go back to London, make some samples and contact him since he has some distribution channels in the States. I lost his contact details, but made the samples nevertheless. I hope to find him one day to thank him. 

tFS: Who’s the EKAT customer?

EM: The EKAT customer is a fun, flirty female. She has developed her own personal style that brings out her character. Her style is effortless and chic, a true world traveler. She is an independent thinker that has a fresh eye for unique pieces. She is well-known in her circle of friends and has a leadership spirit that many follow. She is a muse with a rock ‘n’ roll spirit. 

Ekat

Image: Courtesy of EKAT

tFS: Why catsuits?

EM: The catsuit is our hero product and that’s where there was a gap in the market. I wouldn’t have started with bikinis or leggings since the market is so saturated. We’ve now made a name for ourselves and it’s easier to bring out new products. Our new collection includes dresses, playsuits and jumpsuits!

tFS: Celebs including Rita Ora and Sienna Miller wore your catsuits to Glastonbury last year. Did you know they were going to wear them or was it a total surprise?

EM: It was a total surprise! I was at Glastonbury myself and I lost my phone in a pile of mud, so I had no contact with the world. Imagine how surprised I was to find all the articles on EKAT when I got back! It affected the brand in a massive way.

tFS: What’s your greatest challenge as a new brand?

EM: Not being intimidated by all the competition. The fashion industry is such a saturated market. Since we debuted, more than five copycat brands were launched. You absolutely have to believe in your product and have fun building it. 

tFS: Who would be the perfect spokesperson for the brand?

EM: Miley Cyrus. She’s young, ambitious, super talented and uses her fame and success to make a difference in the lives of others who are less fortunate. She just launched her The Happy Hippie Foundation, a charity that helps vulnerable homeless youth and the LGBT community.

tFS: What’s your focus for the brand in the next couple years?

EM: We’re rebranding to focusing on being a lifestyle digital print-based brand. At the moment, our main focus is launching the brand in the States with additional categories. Our new collection Electric Jungle will have many new silhouettes as well as a collaboration with a Colombia headpiece designer for some beautiful and really fun headpieces!