My name is Kay Howitt.
I'm an experienced Fashion Designer &
The secret to great swimwear design is a combination of unique vision, garments that fit your body well, are comfortable, and most importantly make you feel great.
Miléa is a brand new resort range designed for a woman who desires all things wanderlust.
She is independent, worldly and a bit of a global nomad interested in chasing the eternal summer. She appreciates quality and style and wants a true resort wardrobe that compliments her lifestyle and femininity.
Check out my interview with the Vista on the launch of our new brand.
Isola by Megan Gale
Isola by Megan Gale is a sophisticated, sexy, chic and completely wearable swimwear collection inspired by Megan's love of travel. The collection offers beautifully constructed swimwear to fit all shapes and sizes.
Isola (Italian for 'island') is the swimwear range born out of Gale’s passion for the beach. With Isola by Megan Gale, we endeavoured to encapsulate all that she loves about summer; idyllic beaches, the shade of a palm tree, turquoise waters and long, peaceful days on the sand.
Receiving a cult following from women with a larger cup size, Isola caters for the DD/E cup market, which proved to be hit due to the brand's meticulous focus on fit.
I have over 30 years experience within the fashion industry giving me the opportunity to gain a wide range of expertise.
BRAND & PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
I have experience in both setting up new product divisions tasked with designing and selling licensed product through the chainstore channel, as well as creating entirely new brands from the ground up as I have done for Isola and Miléa.
PATTERNMAKING, GARMENT CONSTRUCTION & FIT
I am a trained patternmaker specialising in stretch fabrics since college. I also have extensive experience in garment construction and the development of components that help to achieve an excellent fitting garment.
My designs are largely influenced by interpretting and translating trends to suit the handwriting of the brand or store I am working with. I use several mediums to access trends as well as sample sourcing trips around the world.
PRINT & FABRIC DESIGN
My strength in design and my unique handwriting is print and colour. Developing individual, bespoke designs for both swimwear and outerwear and combining prints to create on-trend product.
I spent many years as a Development Sales Manager designing and selling product to chainstores. This includes both homebrand labels as well as licensed international brands.
As a development salesperson I worked to achieve sales targets and budgets, as well as garment costing and driving negotiations with both local and overseas factories.
As a department manager I have experience in running a team of patternmakers, specification technicians, machinists, graphic designers, and assistants.
I am experienced in creating range books, planning and organising campaign and studio photo-shoots, and writing copy for media releases and sales tools.
Whilst I was employed by a Chinese/Australian garment manufacturer, I lived in Hong Kong working in factories in both Hong Kong and China. My role in product development required me to work closely with Australian department store and chainstore buyers to design and manufacture garments from children's wear to sleepwear.
Since graduating from East Sydney Technical College, I have been lucky enough to design for many of Australia's premier swimwear brands as well as a range of organisations that specialise in supplying a variety of fashion to the Australian market.
2015 - 2016
Head Designer & Creative Director
Miléa Resortwear (Seafolly)
As Designer and Creative Director, I was involved throughout the process to find an identity that was unique and embodied a confident, femine spirit, as well as having global appeal. I had the opportunity to create a brand that beautifully expressed my handwriting.
I have total control of all creative aspects of the brand; from print design to colour palettes and styling. I oversee a team of patternmakers, specification technicaions, and machinists.
Currently I release three unique collections per year of approximately 140 styles each collection.
2009 - 2015
Head Designer & Creative Director
Isola by Megan Gale (Seafolly)
I was a part of the inception of the label, Isola by Megan Gale, and involved in the choice of the name and brand identity which reflected Megan's connection with Italy.
As both the Designer and Patternmaker of our initial collection, I built the brand over seven years to be a beautifully constructed range of styles that offered something to fit all different shapes and sizes.
With Megan as the public face of our brand, I controlled the creative design and developed a handwriting that embodied Megan's personality. Initially releasing one collection for our 2010 brand launch, I increased our ranges to three collections per year covering swimwear, outerwear, and accessories.
From humble beginnings in 12 stores, I grew the brand to an all-store-buy for David Jones and Sunburn, and increased our presence in independant swimwear specialists to over 60 retailers, some with multiple locations Australia-wide.
2005 - 2009
Designer & Sales Manager
Zoggs is a brand of swimming goggles, training aids, swimwear and other related products. The company launched in Sydney, Australia in 1992.
I was initially employed as Sales Manager looking after Zoggs swimwear and equipment for the Australian market.
The U.K. head office felt my skills in design could help improve their children's swim product and therefore increase international sales. My role was expanded to include designing all children's swimwear and related swim products sold across the globe, and to consult on the international women's swimwear category.
I worked closely with our U.K. head office and Chinese manufacturers, as well as attending international swim sales conferences and assisting the training of sales representatives in selling Zoggs competitve swimwear.
2002 - 2005
Product Development Designer
Hot Springs specialised in providing licensed product across a wide range of fashion categories to Australian department stores and chain stores.
I was employed to create a new division supplying licensed lingerie and swimwear, in addition to taking over the existing men's sleepwear category. I dealt with licensing companies representing many internationally renowned licensed brands such as 'The Simpsons', 'Bratz Dolls', 'Looney Tunes', and 'Ford'.
I also developed homebrand product under chainstore 'own labels' for swimwear, mens sleepwear and underwear, children's underwear, and women's lingerie. In addition to the product design, I managed all aspects of sales, with vertical integration encompassing communicating directly with my international factories and local buyers.
Dress Design Certificate
East Sydney Technical College