News & Runway

Designer Dossier: Christopher Kane

Christopher Kane has, so far, had a storybook tale of success that would make any Project Runway hopeful cry with envy. He's won a slew of awards, was courted by Anna Wintour and Donatella (yes, that Donatella) before he graduated from Central Saint Martin's, and has pulled in some pretty impressive collabos, joining forces with the likes of Beth Ditto and Topshop. Though Kane's star rose high, fast, and has stayed bright throughout his still short career, his beginnings were as humble as any truly inspirational story would require. He grew up in Scotland with an engineer father and housewife mother. He's described his provenance as "gray" and "rural," and said that one of the major childhood incidents that put him on the path to fashion design stardom was his family's acquisition of a satellite dish: Now he and his sister Tammy could experience the "glamour" and "color" of high fashion clothing through TV shows beamed right into his provincial Scottish home.

Christopher didn't waste any time after he graduated from grade school to start his career. He enrolled in Central Saint Martin's while his sister attended the Scottish College of Textile and Design. In his year of graduation he was visited by Anna (by way of his awards, no doubt) and then introduced to Donatella and offered a job at Versace on the spot. He declined the cushy position and instead took a consulting gig with the company's line Versus, so that in 2006 he could begin his own eponymous line with his sister, which they operated out of their small shared apartment. The two are still partners today. Tammy helps with textile choice, design, and finances while Christopher takes care of the rest.

From its very start, the label garnered high marks from fashion critics. And so has virtually every collection since. Though some early detractors claimed his designs were misogynistic for their body-con fit, he's since then turned out collections with looser silhouettes. Christopher is a fashion chameleon, each season he turns out a collection that's markedly different from the last. While many houses have stayed on top with signature design flourishes, Kane is young and is either still experimenting or has decided that a mixed-bag of creativity is his signature. Either way, he's a designer to watch.

To get you started on your Christopher Kane love story, check out some of our favorite looks from some of his recent shows.