Meet the designer
Katie, the founder and designer of the brand, lives in Southern California where her ordinary days are filled with bright sunshine, palm trees and blue skies. Such beautiful surroundings have shaped the creation of CLARÉT RONDEL. Katie finds continual inspiration from Southern California where everywhere you look is a melting pot of diverse cultures and art — the modern suburban areas and stunning classical buildings in DTLA, the exciting sights of Hollywood, the expansive scenic beaches along the coast, the redwood forest and Sierra Nevada Mountains, the soil-rich Central Valley farmland and the Mojave Desert. In short, California is the most fascinating place all year long.
It all began when a little girl, Katie, followed her father’s footstep to his workshop, a place filled with a rich, musky and earthy scent that lightly prodded her nose and sparked her curiosity. Then, she realized that she was surrounded by piles of well-polished leather. It was the place where she imagined her dream. While Katie played around in her father ’s workshop she watched him with wide eyes as he examined the upscale material to its very last detail. Skills were unknowingly handed down as she learned different textures, types, and colors of highly valuable skins at a young age. Growing up, it was natural for her to fall in love with her father ’s world.
Katie majored in Fashion Design at Otis College of Art and Design. Just like any designer, her desire was to find her place in the exuberant field of contemporary fashion. Since graduating, she has worked with many designer brands in Los Angeles. However, gravity has pulled her back to her original love. She decided to fly to Italy, one of the major fashion capitals of Europe to spend time with the many local professional masters of leather goods and handbag pattern makers. During her stay in Milan and Florence, she rediscovered her passion for bags. Her fascination for the art grew as she explored the beautiful details and embellishments, laboriously added to each handbag with precision and mastery.
Over the years, Katie has worked with many professionals in European cities including Milan, London and Paris, building up her knowledge of European luxury fashion houses while admiring their craftsmanship. Then, she obtained her Master of Arts in Fashion Design Management at the University of Arts London. After sketching her own concepts for many years, it was the final step in the realization of her mission: to make a strong splash among a sea of accessory designers.
With her intuitive sense of global design and entrepreneurship the direction became clear. Katie’s philosophy of life was influenced by the legacies of her childhood– a particular West Coast state, California, where fun, adventure, beauty and diversity await. There, her experiences and acquired knowledge of luxury fashion further refined her design perspective. Born in Seoul, Korea, Katie was raised in California. She studied in Italy and London, and her strong background in design has been the impetus for her perfect blend of enthusiasm and creativity. Her passion and love are thoughtfully curated in each piece of the collection that reflects the mixture of her Korean-American heritage and acquired European energy.