Misty Belvidere is an independent plus-size fashion label based in Melbourne, Australia. The passionate Miss Kate founded Misty Belvidere in Adelaide, SA and in March 2014 launched her first official plus-size collection “Mermadia” – after years of designing custom, straight-size and limited edition pieces.
Miss Kate says: necessity is the mother of invention. She – like many of us – has a curvy figure with a small waist and felt that many labels were ill-fitting or unflattering. She revolutionized that concept by creating a collection that caters for a curvy waist, generous hips, and the regular shoulder size that many labels sometimes overlook. Miss Kate doesn’t believe in a number sewn into the back of a garment should define you –
Chatting with this delightful designer from Aussie was like talking with one of my close girlfriends. Here is what she had to say!
Natasha: When did you decide you were going to become a designer?
Miss Kate: I grew up in the country. I pursued a degree in architecture. When I started my masters, I went backpacking in Turkey. I started contemplating whether or not I really wanted to be an architect. My close friend who is a model encouraged me to really do it. So, I did. 3 years later I graduated and the 1 year gap turned into 3 years. And, here I am today.
Natasha: What is the story behind the name Misty Belvidere?
Miss Kate: It is the name of my first pet and the street I lived on. Plus it is very unique and identifiable.
Natasha: How would you describe the plus size community in Australia?
Miss Kate: It is very supportive and there has been greater awareness in the past two years. There is a wonderful event called Curvy Couture, where so many labels come out and it is great to see the support for plus sizes.
Also, A Plus Market, plus size women a positive market experience you don’t want to miss.
Natasha: I see you have experience being a stylist, modeling, and you were in Melbourne’s “Va Va Boombah” Fat Burlesque troupe. How do you find the time to do everything?
Miss Kate: I believe in life, you should yes and figure out the rest after. As a stylist for TS14+, I really learned a lot. Being in a dressing room with women when they are vulnerable place it meant a lot working with them. I think the plus size women who received advice from a sassy plus size woman meant a lot to them. The “Va Va Boombah” Fat Burlesque troupe was amazing! I remember being so nervous for the audition. People came out and were so encouraging. It was such an amazing experience.
To manage everything, you need to prioritize what is important. It is important that you keep a good work life balance and do the things that you love!
Natasha: What are the motivations of your designs?
Miss Kate: I am inspired by so many things in my life. I draw inspiration from people in the street, flowers, the ocean. I just try to keep an open heart to being inspired and I always keep a sketch book with me.
Natasha: How would you describe your customer?
Miss Kate: She is a woman who is working or she is in school. She is ambitious and confident. She is a larger woman and she is okay with that. She is happy with herself, dressing for herself. She is not trend driven and she loves Misty Belvidere so that she can indulge and treat herself!
Natasha: What are resources you love to use for designing and your business?
Miss Kate: Shopify is a must! Everything is integrated and great to use! Pinterest is great to use for a mood board. I remember when I had a show in May, I really enjoyed sharing my the beauty styling board with the beauty team. As a visual person, tools like Pinterest are really great to use.
My fashion background has been invaluable. And, my university background really helped. A university education does not teach you everything but it teaches you how to teach yourself. Over the years, I have taught myself many things that has helped me get to the next level. And, being able to use Photoshop has been super important for the designing process.
Miss Kate: Delegating tasks to others. That has been a big learning curve for me. But, it is important that you play up people for their skills. And, it is really nice when they bring things to the table.
Natasha: Who is Kate behind Misty Belvidere?
Miss Kate: I am a nerd. I fly by the seat of the pants. I am the kinda person who goes to the opera or listen to heavy metal rock bands at a dive bar. I love going to craft markets, second hand clothing, as well as high end fashion. I am a giant big contradiction. I am just trying to live and enjoy every moment!
Miss Kate: What they want in their wardrobe! I have a bone to pick with standard measurements. Out of Shape by Mel Campbell is a great book that throws standard sizing on it’s head. That is why I use 0-4 sizing for my clothes. I want women to be honest and measure themselves.
Natasha: If you could tell your younger self something, what would you tell yourself?
Miss Kate: I would tell my 16 year old self I am beautiful and I am not worthless. I would tell her that she has no idea how awesome life will be. You are intelligent and you should own it! When I was younger, I felt like an outsider. Lots of people are different and that is okay.
Natasha: Any last minute thoughts/advice/commentary?
Miss Kate: Generally, I would say it would be a great part of such an encouraging industry and we are gaining a lot of momentum. We have to keep challenging what is typically seen as beautiful. And, collectively we will continue to gain more ground.
Miss Kate is an Aussie designer who is showing the world just how beautiful plus size women can be when a designer makes the right choice for shapes and colors. Size is not what defines your beauty. You are what makes you beautiful!
Are you equally in love with Miss Kate’s Designs?