How should shoes look like? When Katja of Sweden, see picture above, presented her first shoe collection for the sales team they looked surprised. This was in the 1950th and her thoughts of shoes being comfortable, beautiful and fashionable at the samt time may not seem like a revolution today but was at the time not a common view. Katja asked the sales team kindly to try to sell them for a year or two. They did, with lot of hesitation, but of course it worked.
A multi-tasking woman would naturally enjoy buying shoes that suited the dress, were comfortable, stylish and sometimes even edgy. Who would say no to that?
Sources: Vecko-Journalen no 4, 1958, photo of Katja of Sweden by Georg Oddner
Timeless fashion that last is rare. The above Katja of Sweden dresses are from the ‘Katja goes to Africa’ collection in 1963, shown at the Oomph exhibition at the Malmö Konstmuseum. Katja went to Africa to get inspired and found beautiful prints and textils. That would be the case even more today.
African fashion is full of colours and prints, see fashion legend Adama Paris and the young designer and TV-host Ayanda Nhlapo in her own fashion business show. African fashion is on its way to inspire the world. The Katja of Sweden dress below is one of mine, probably also inspired by Africa. However see Adama Paris’ website and you find colours and happiness.
Katja of Sweden made beautifully, timeless cloths with brave and colourful prints and pattern. Above you see prints by textile artists Hans Krondahl to the left and Sven Fristedt to the right. It is hard to understand today what a pioneer she was in the Swedish fashion industry. She made great impact in the 50th, 60th and the 70th with her comfortable cloths and shoes, which in many ways has been forgotten about.
Her belief in the vision of making comfortable cloths for the modern woman made her successful in America. Hence she became one of Sweden’s most successful designer abroad and it is therefore hard to find exclusive dresses by her in Sweden today. The swedes woke up later in 1966 when she had her show in Paris. The coat and dresses below are from the Paris collection inspired by Russian cossack and Swedish curbits.
The cloths above can be seen at the Malmö Museer and Malmö Konstmuseum. Katja of Sweden had her production in the MMT industry in Malmö from 1954 to 1975.