MORE THAN JUST A PRETTY DRESS: Designer to Watch, Elif Katik

Lawrence Durrell once said that “….artists are born not made.”

This is the quote that came to mind when I first met Turkish-born Holland-bred, Elif Katik. A woman who sees the world in bold colors and flattering silhouettes, Elif isn’t about trends and what others deem fashion but rather what appeals to her.

Katik is a quickly making a name for herself on the New York fashion scene. Elif heads the design team for Jordan Taylor, a Manhattan- based resort and beachwear brand.  With successful collections under Jordan Taylor and Elif for Jordan Taylor, she launched a contemporary bridge line under her own name that debuts in boutiques in Spring 2013.

The Elif Collection exudes a chic European aesthetic that is designed to seduce and excite with beautiful separates and dresses that can easily go from day to evening catering to sizes 0 to 8.

The collection showcases Elif’s keen sense of detail with her particular attention to construction and fabrication—elements that combined with sleek silhouettes and a vibrant color palette accentuate the female form.

To view the full Spring 2013 collection, visit http://www.elifdesigns.com.

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MADE IN MANHATTAN: Caitlin Kelly Designer Swimwear

We’ve all been watching the Presidential debates (seriously, Election Day is a little over 2 weeks away) and  so know the state of the economy. It seems to be at the top of everyone’s hot topics list. Economists, politicians and everyday Joes and Josies all have theories as to why America is in such financial dire straits. One of the most common arguments in this ongoing debate is the out-sourcing of manufacturing jobs to other countries—particularly in the fashion industry.

Once the pulse of New York’s economy, the garment industry is shrinking with each passing year especially with many designers (both new and established) opting to produce their lines in places like China, India and Brazil. But a handful of devoted fashion folks have chosen to be “made in New York” including rising design star, Caitlin Kelly.

Photography: Willis Roberts

A graduate of the famed Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), Caitlin began her career designing for Badgley Mischka’s swimwear line. In 2011, she became the Head Designer for Aerin Rose Swimwear (then under the Jordan Taylor, Inc. umbrella) debuted her designs at Miami Swim to rave reviews. The line was so well received, that the design house owner, Jordan Taylor Greenberg, offered Caitlin the opportunity of a lifetime: the chance to create her own line of luxury swimwear. And in July 2012, Caitlin Kelly Designer Swimwear (CKDS) was born. Officially launching at Miami Swim, CKDS features convertible bikinis, monokinis and chic one pieces paired with sophisticatedly sexy beachwear.

Photography: Rich Jackson

But who is Caitlin Kelly?

Recently I sat down with the amazingly adorable designer in her Manhattan studio to talk about her new line, her inspiration and what makes her tick. Check out the full interview here.

Designer Caitlin Kelly
Photography: Willis Roberts