Designer Keva Rands from Papa Clothing. Image supplied.
Keva Rands is the talented designer behind ethical womenswear label Papa Clothing which she founded in 2016. Keva utilises only natural fabrics to create her beautiful designs which draw inspiration from her heritage in Aotearoa and the Pacific. Each garment is made-to-order by hand, either by Keva herself or a friend, and her easy-to-wear pieces mean her label has a wide customer base who love her inclusive designs.
We caught up with Keva to find out more about her brand, what inspires her and what you would never catch her wearing.
Tell us about your latest collection?
I’m currently working on a collection a little different to usual. In the past I’ve made everything from linen and focused on oversized silhouettes. The main difference with my latest work is that I’ve included cotton and silks in the range and there are now a few fitted pieces along with the classic oversized ones. I’m also using a few new fixtures like buttons and domes while maintaining the minimal aesthetic of the Papa brand.
What made you become a designer?
When I was a teenager I really wanted affordable clothing to fit with my, then described, ‘alternative’ look I was going for. I went to a high school without a uniform so I really enjoyed dressing ‘uniquely’ and when I got out my mum’s old sewing machine I realised I could be making my own amazing (horrible) fashions. I enjoyed it so much I decided to go on to study fashion design at university.
What inspires you?
Textiles! I love going to fabric stores and wholesalers and feeling all the different colours, weights and textures of the natural textiles. This usually informs my design and I feel inspired by seeing how at home and empowered people look when they try on a Papa piece for the first time.
Looks from Papa Clothing’s current collection.
Describe your personal style and how it influences your designs?
My personal style is very casual. I’m a t-shirt and jeans lover but if I’m making my way out to an event or nice dinner, nothing beats an oversized dress. I think my personal style influences my design in that I try to make clothing that people can feel amazing in without spending hours planning their look.
What is your all-time favourite purchase?
I bought a pair of orange cotton pants with an elastic waistband in Mexico and if it wouldn’t be so obvious I would wear them everyday of my life. They are like a cotton track pant with two front pockets. The weight of the fabric has been perfect in hot and cool temperatures and they sit nice and high around my waist.
What wardrobe item should everyone invest in?
A loose linen dress.
Do you have a style rule you always obey?
I try to be really conscious about not appropriating other cultures for styling ideas.
Look from Papa Clothing’s current collection.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Spotting people on the street wearing Papa and looking amazing!
What can’t you live without?
Gold hoop earrings.
Finish this sentence – You would never catch me wearing…