WORDS BY JOSEPH FURNESS
If there’s one piece of sartorial advice we, a luxury fashion platform, can offer to you, it's to keep things simple by investing in shipshape wardrobe staples. By no means is it a coincidence that the likes of The Row, Jil Sander’s namesake label and Daniel Lee’s Bottega Veneta – brands that pride themselves on offering conservative yet elevated essentials – are considered the epitome of style. Accordingly, it’s of cardinal importance that a conscious dresser builds a wardrobe foundation of classic silhouettes and go-to pieces – for instance, those designed by Khaite.
Who is the designer behind Khaite?
Established in 2016, Khaite is the brainchild of Catherine Holstein – a designer known for the namesake brand she launched with Barneys New York, as well as her work at Vera Wang and The Elder Statesman. Catherine’s brand is the latest to catch the attention of modest style connoisseurs and high-profile stylists alike thanks to its collection of practically perfect wardrobe necessities. Allow us to tell you a little bit more about the lavish label.
How do you pronounce Khaite?
Pronounced Kate (KAYT), the name is inspired by Catherine’s nickname Cate, and the Greek word Khaite (χαίτη), which means long flowing hair.
Where is Khaite based?
The ready-to-wear womenswear brand is based in New York, USA. Each season presents New Yorkers and global Khatie devotees with a super wearable uniform suitable for innumerable events and environments – from the workplace to the airport to the nightclub.
What’s the secret to Khaite’s success?
Catherine Holstein adopts both long-established and newfangled approaches to design to produce perfectly cut, intricately detailed pieces complete with A1 materials. By doing this, the designer is able to fabricate the ultimate hero pieces: think the perfect pair of jeans, the greatest LBD and the most practical leather tote on the market.
When did Khaite become popular?
Until recently, Khaite was an under-the-radar brand, worn exclusively by in-the-know fashion insiders and A-list celebrities. But, thanks to coverage from the likes of Vogue and BoF (Business of Fashion), a dreamy Khaite x adidas collaboration and support from distinguished models and high-profile fashion mavens, the five-year-old brand has become the talk of the town within the world’s fashion capitals.
Celebrities such as Hailey Bieber and Katie Holmes have been wearing (then re-wearing) Khaite jeans for a while now, which may explain why the brand’s denim offerings are frequently out of stock on our site. Take one look at these perfectly proportioned The Abigail straight leg jeans and it’s obvious why they’re being favoured by the jet-set.
Over the last few seasons, flat sandals have dominated the footwear market – and Khaite’s interpretation of a modernist sandal is a little more swish than its counterparts. Officially named The Puglia sandal, the pre-fall shoe is constructed with soft-to-the-touch calf suede that offers your feet a reliable plush platform.
Khaite creates pieces that are ageless: source A, the label’s black leather quilted shopping tote. The open-top bag is sleek, spacious and sturdy enough to be considered for everyday use; plus, it’s super easy to keep clean – all one needs is a wet wipe. Is this the most trustworthy bag on the luxury market? Perhaps so.
Sheer fabrics – see-through materials once reserved for lady’s stockings – are often utilised by contemporary designers to fashion dressy tops, dresses, sweaters and other components of a modern woman’s get-up. Khaite champions the ongoing trend by producing floral-patterned sheer lace camisoles that pair well with skirts, shorts and trousers.
When we speak of timeless pieces and wardrobe staples, it’s easy to assume we’re referring to black leather jackets, neutral-hued knitwear and pairs of court heels; in fact, we’re actually referring to arresting-yet-refined looks such as Khaite’s The Lydia draped dress. The dexterously designed ankle-length look is the kind one could wear year after year to social events, super sophisticated dinners (preferably abroad) and special occasions; in summary, it’s an evergreen, cornerstone piece for your collection.
The Teyana high-waisted suede trousers are the kind of garm that’ll make you look like you’ve made an effort, even if you did decide to throw them on half an hour before leaving your home. For this reason – plus the fact they come in a foolproof chestnut brown hue, feature pockets and are fashioned with an uber-sophisticated wide-leg – we’re crowning them our favourite non-denim bottoms from Khaite’s current collection.
As previously suggested, essential pieces don't necessarily need to be predictable. By way of illustration, Khaite’s take on an LBD transforms the formulaic wardrobe hero into a piece more suitable for urbane affairs. How? By adding three-quarter length sleeves and opting for a square neck and a flared hem design.
There’s an everlasting elegance to pieces formed from natural resources – just look at Khaite's Italian-made raffia straw tote. Finished with black leather details, the practical accessory has enough room to hold all of the essentials – viz. her Tom Ford sunnies, Saint Laurent purse, Jacquemus bucket hat and some Bottega sandals.
Distressed jeans are perfect for putting a voguish spin on an understated look; they instantly elevate an everyday outfit by providing some edge to the ensemble. Khaite’s The Danielle distressed-effect jeans are characterised by their knee rips, faded blue colour and worn-in shape, and the best part is that they’re designed and manufactured in Khaite’s home country, the USA.
Don’t be fooled by the delicate appearance of Khaite’s Monza suede sandals: these shoes are strong, durable and ready to be worn for years to come. Crafted in Italy, the ankle strap sandals are available in two dependable colourways – black and caramel brown – and can be paired with anything (yes, that does include the above-mentioned suede trousers).