The first promise the brand Kowtow from New Zealand makes on its website is to sell ‘100% certified fair trade organic cotton clothing’. And second, but similarly important is: the puristic design is great, too. The self-concept of the people behind the label is devoted to an ethical and sustainable production ‘from seed to garment’. This is also the only thing you can read about in detail next to many pictures of the on-site online shop with a great selection of timeless basics, underwear and mostly modern sophisticated street fashion.
UTA’ s IMPRESSION
The aesthetic of the Kowtow designers is very appealing in the combination of modernity and comfort. The cuts of the silhouettes are straight, yet casual and in some cases fit any sex type as unisex pieces. The preferred colours and patterns of the current collection are pretty pragmatic – in a range of black, white, dark blue, grey and red in stripy and geometrical shapes – and are in that way easy to match with others. Limited hand silk screen prints add an eye-catching effect.
I would rank Kowtow spontaniously somewhere between the low priced and minimalistic style of Jan’n’June and the avantgarde looks of designer Bruno Pieters, but point out their individual identity, of course. Something I noticed immediately, is the allround view of every single item in the shop with a handy option to ask specific questions. That is an amazing opportunity for everyone, who is not satisfied with the short descriptions available on hand. On the other hand we are invited to take a look at a documentary film, that provides an insight into the manufacturing path of life of the organic cotton seeds until they turn into Kowtow pants and shirts. That kind of transparency affirms the brands philosophy and helps the company to be reliable.
The business, which Gosia Piatek launched in 2007, seems to be going more and more into a commercial direction – the center of attention is marked by the shop. I guess that is a good sign and she is focusing on the most important part: designing cool, elegant, good-looking clothes on a sustainable basis. The work of Piatek and her team deserves my truly acknowledgement… just as the meaning of the word ‘kowtow’ implies. In East Asia it stands for the act of deep respect shown by kneeling and bowing very low, with the head touching the ground.
IMAGE SOURCE AND PRESS RELEASE: Kowtow / www.kowtowclothing.com