Let’s face it, with a name like Kizzy Holliday-Morgan, you’re never going to have a regular 9-5 office job. Chances are you’re either going to end up being an actress, country singer or fashion designer. Luckily, this punk loving Manchester girl chose the latter and is currently creating DIY style pieces under her new label WTF.
With music constantly playing in her studio there is nothing that Kizzy enjoys more than cutting, sewing, ripping and appliquéing fabric to make her handmade t-shirts and jewellery.I met up with her to chat bleach, brogues and barbed wire…
Describe WTF in a nutshell?
WTF is a fresh look at urban casual wear. Unique and handmade in the heart of Manchester, our passion is to create something that hasn’t been done before that will look amazing on. We strive to make pieces for everybody; our striking and iconic designs are long lasting and cost a fraction of the price.
What techniques do you use when making the garments?
We make most of our tees using applique, a technique of layering fabrics to create an image or design. Some of our t-shirts are treated in bleach, this is done freehand or using a stencil. Our jewellery is handmade from fabric and we release limited edition handmade from scratch pieces seasonally.
How did you and fashion first ‘meet’?
When I reached my teens I discovered punk music and was inspired by Vivienne Westwood and the do-it-yourself attitude to fashion. I picked up my needle and scissors and started on my wardrobe, tearing, sewing and re-creating it all so it was unique and new. I never looked at clothes the same way!
Where did you study and what did you get from the experience?
I studied Art and Design at Stockport college for 2 years, I chose Art over Fashion because I didn’t want to restrict my designs to only fabric and get into the monotony of conventional construction methods. I experimented with everything from Barbed wire dresses to tops made of old bandages and the college was very open to my sometimes-crazy ideas. It helped me develop my style into something more commercial and practical for everyday wear.
Who do you have in mind when you are designing?
I don’t really have a muse but i think a lot about my partner David when I’m designing, I think if you surround yourself with thoughts of people that make you happy it helps you work.
Your current obsession?
French singer-songwriter Serge Gainsbourg. His music is utterly unique and extremely varied. He was the original punk and his music covers reggae and pop among many other styles, amazing lyrics and a source of constant inspiration to me. Everybody needs to listen to his music at least once!
A fact about yourself that not many people know?
Despite me being as pale as a ghost with blue eyes and blonde hair, most of my family are Portuguese. Most people ask me if I am Russian or Swiss because of my foreign appearance and are shocked to find out that I am actually half Portuguese. I stand out on family photos is all I can say.
Which designer would you most like to meet?
I would love to have met Alexander McQueen before he died, To me he was a genius of design and his work was and always will be truly spellbinding to me. To have worked with him would have been an absolute dream come true for me.
Who would you like to collaborate with?
Leopard by Belle Sauvage – their designs blow my mind and I think we would make beautiful creations together. I would like to collaborate with so many people; it really brings out new sides to your design capabilities.
- Film – is Clockwork orange, a timeless classic that is visually and mentally very stimulating. Seen it many times and still love it.
- Band – would have to be the Sex Pistols, their music is very influential and passionate, putting on Anarchy in the UK on in the morning wakes you up better than any other song.
- Breakfast cereal – I usually skip breakfast because I’m so busy but I love Lucky charms, very hard to get hold of these days but whenever I am abroad I treat myself to a box or two.
- Pin-up – would have to be Cary Grant, I love curling up on the sofa at night and watching a grainy old 50’s romance with a mug of hot chocolate, makes you feel all warm inside and a good way to relax after a stressful day!
- Place – My bed, I get so much inspiration from my dreams so I keep a notepad and pen next to my bed so I can jot down my ideas in the morning.
What do you do in your spare time when you are not designing?
I love to travel and see new places, I will be going to Amsterdam very soon! I also love to draw and paint, Art is still a massive part of me and whenever I can I do a canvas or some sketches. I also love trying things I would never normally think of doing, things like jet skiing or candle making. It’s actually surprising how much you were missing!
Yor favourite piece in your wardrobe and why?
It has to be my black and white leather brogues, I adore shoes anyway but these have been with me many years now and still look amazing. They have big stitching allover them and look like flat brothel creepers, really unusual and fit like a dream. I bought them in a charity shop ages ago, charity shops are the best place to get quirky and long lasting shoes, everyone should go!
Your favourite thing about your job, any negatives?
Being a fashion designer is extremely rewarding, I would never swap it for anything else! Having your own label is stressful, tiring and very hard work but it really pays off if you have the determination and the passion to be noticed. I would advise anyone thinking of starting a label to make sure that you are 100% obsessed with fashion and that you will be willing to work through the night sometimes and get many rejections, you have to take it on the chin and get on with it.
How has social media affected your business?
WTF is a young label so media plays a vital role in these early days, getting noticed and spreading the word is essential for a successful business. I use Facebook a lot to notify people of what I’m doing and when new designs are hitting the shelves. I can promote, advertise, get in touch with photographers and models, monitor my sales, everything!
What is your proudest career moment so far?
My proudest moment was making my very first sale, it gave me the drive to create more and more. That feeling of someone sharing your vision and wanting to wear what you have made is irreplaceable!
Plans for the future?
Plans for my label WTF would be to carry on expanding, make new things, start a high end couture label to run alongside my casual wear line. I want to get bigger and better!
I also would like to get my degree in fashion or even my masters at some point, There is always more to learn and experience to gain. Other than that i would like to see the rest of the world, build my perfect house in my perfect place and have a mini zoo in my back garden. Not too much to ask for.
WTF! is sold on ASOS Marketplace .