Interview: Silk Scarf Designer, Katrin Reifeiss

Katrin Reifeiss at Angkor Wat in Cambodia

I’m a little bit partial to taming my curls by tying them up in a silk scarf. But spend a bit of time with Katrin Reifeiss and you’ll soon discover that there is much more to these seventeen inch squares of fabric…

Using the dye technique called shibori, Brooklyn-based Katrin, creates vibrant colour-saturated silk scarves. With 100 of profits from her current range being donated to The Silk Lab who helps women in Cambodia create social and economic security, Katrin’s pieces are for so much more than hiding a bad hair moment.

Here’s what Katrin had to say about her label and marrying fashion and philanthropy.

The Mood Indigo Set from Katrin’s current range.

True style to me is…wearing what makes one feel beautiful. The most beautiful people are those that are nice, who love to laugh, have an eye for the unique and special and can take the high road in any situation. That is what true style to me is.

I’m currently inspired by…color, always inspired by color. For Spring/Summer 2011 I am loving red, orange, blue and purple. Nature. The Ocean. Travel. Shibori and resist techniques. People. Innovation.

Three words that describe my scarves are…handmade, beautiful, one-of-a-kind.

My proudest business achievement…will be when I open my own store!

Fashion and philanthropy are…a winning situation for both the customer and the recipient of the funds. Everyone receives something. I believe also that if one can help out whether it is volunteering their time – even one day a year – or donating funds, then they should do it.

My desire to give back to the women in Cambodia stems from…visiting Siem Reap (in Cambodia) in January of this year. I fell in love with the people and the place and thought if I could give back in some way I would like to. Through Elizabeth Kiester of Wanderlust – a store she opened in Siem Reap a few years ago and who I had the pleasure of meeting – I learned of and on their website ‘discovered ‘ The Silk Lab Project. The goal of The Silk Lab is to create social and economical security to disadvantaged women living in Siem Reap through a fair trade, non-for profit business. What a perfect fit!

The Cleopatra Stripes Set from Katrin’s current range.

The best advice I’ve ever been given is…follow your gut, be yourself, and just do it already!

I can’t live without…coffee in the morning, a good book, NYC and Paris, a great handbag, travelling and my best friend – my husband Tom.

I escape by…curling up in bed with a good book, watching Masterpiece Theatre on PBS, taking a walk through Prospect Park in Brooklyn or swimming in the Ocean.

Home is…wherever my husband and I are which is currently Brooklyn which we love!

In 2011…I’d like to see more common sense and sanity in the world. And for myself I would like to open up my own store where I can create and sell my collections and also give back to the local community anyway I can.

My golden rule is…smile.

From US $55; shop online at Katrin Reifeiss.

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