To Top

Life & Work with Katrina Luther

Today we’d like to introduce you to Katrina Luther.

Hi Katrina, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
My name is Katrina Luther, I am a designer, stylist, coordinator, and founder of Katrina Marie Fashions. I am originally from a small town named Colony, located in southeast Kansas. Colony has a population of around 300 people total. I grew up on a farm three miles outside of town with my mom, dad, and two brothers. I spent most of my childhood enjoying all the little things the outdoors has to offer including hunting and fishing, and riding with my dad in the combine.

Fashion has always been another big part of my life. Growing up I would always dress to impress. I would read fashion magazines and modeling magazines wishing I could be just “like them.” In high school, I participated in every extracurricular activity possible. I loved sports and dancing. After graduation, I attended Allen County College for 2 years. I was on the Firestarter’s Dance Team and graduated with an Associate of Arts Degree. As I grew older, it became clearer that I didn’t want to be like anyone else. I wanted to make a name for myself out there in the big world and was ready to pursue my fashion dream in full swing. This led to my move to Kansas City where I attended the Art Institutes International of Kansas City, and where I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Fashion design with a minor in Fashion Marketing.

This was a big change for me coming from such a small-town feel to move into a big city, but I was more than ready for this new adventure. In my first year at the Art Institute, I was selected for an internship with Essense of Australia. I was an assistant to the design team where I got to see every part of the fashion design business first hand. I absolutely loved the experience I had working for them. Working on wedding gowns made me realize that I wanted to get into dress designing. Not wedding dresses per se, but evening wear/red carpet gowns. To extend my fashion knowledge further, I took on another job working as a sales associate for Belle Vogue Bridal.

Belle Vogue Bridal is a storefront that carries Essense of Australia’s gowns. I worked 40-50 hours a week through college while attending a heavy school schedule. I wanted to learn as much as I could about fashion design, while also figuring out how I wanted to start up Katrina Marie Fashions. In December of 2016, I graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fashion Design and was named the top Fashion Designer of my graduating class. At the final senior portfolio show, I was approached by a recruiter for Gear for Sports who intrigued my interest. She spoke of potential job opportunities for me to get into designing sportswear.

I was eager to jump on this new opportunity as I thought it would be beneficial to learn all the ends and outs of sportswear as this was a big fashion difference from wedding gowns. I wanted to expand my knowledge even further in the design world. I accepted a position with Gear for Sports in 2017 and am currently still working there. To start up my own brand and business, I needed to work full-time to have a steady income to be able to pursue my own line. From 2016-now, I have shown in a multitude of runway shows ranging from Vogue in the Vines, Local Runway, Unlimited Runway, and many more.

My end goal is to be able to own a Katrina Marie Fashions storefront and design for my label full-time. I also hope to one day show in some of the world’s top runway shows! I met my husband Caylor in the spring of 2017, and we later married in the fall of 2019. We settled down in our Olathe home in 2019, with our two dogs Ellie and Harlie. I have a design studio set up out of my home where I continue to work on my designs every chance I get.

I have been a local Kansas City designer for over 5 years now. The amazing support I have from my family, friends, husband, and Katrina Marie Fashions followers have helped push me to become the designer I am today.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
In the spring of 2016 the unexpected happened. Myself being a young healthy 22-year-old never saw what was about to come. One afternoon I was riding in the car with my family and I began feeling very ill. I reached over to tell my brother something was wrong when all of a sudden, I started having a Grand Mal Seizure, followed by stroke symptoms.

I then went unconscious and was in the hospital for about a week. I was having several seizures a day. My whole life had been turned upside down. I went through many upon many tests and scans trying to figure out what caused this, and how to get the seizures to stop happening. I thought that my life and dreams of being a fashion designer had ended. I wasn’t able to operate a sewing machine anymore. I suffered complete loss of speech, memory loss, and over 250 seizures in a two-month time period. I lost my driver’s license for six months and was unable to work at the job that I loved so much. I had to miss school and be supervised 24/7.

I went through a pretty dark time in my life, but it made me realize how precious life really is. Thanking God every day, after several months with numerous medications and treatments the seizures were finally gone. I now had a whole new outlook on life. The amazing professors I had at the art institute allowed me to take additional classes to make up for the time I had missed and jump right back in to still be able to graduate.

I had many obstacles to face and overcome in my recovery, but I was slowly back on track to pursue my dreams, and I was more determined than ever. After hard work and determination, I was able to graduate and was now fully recovered.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I created Katrina Marie Fashions to inspire individuals to feel empowered in the garments that they wear. I design custom one-of-a-kind pieces ranging from swimwear, to children’s, to everyday wear, to evening gowns. My brand has now expanded into not only designer runway pieces, but boutique items as well.

My designs let each individual’s true beauty shine through. I specialize in evening and red carpet gowns. My designs are known to make a statement and are full of sequins and glitter. I am proud of how far I have come in my fashion journey and super excited to see where it continues to take me. I want to be a role model for young inspiring designers.

Coco Chanel once said, “Every day is a fashion show, and the world is the runway.” This is how I choose to view my world.

We’re always looking for the lessons that can be learned in any situation, including tragic ones like the Covid-19 crisis. Are there any lessons you’ve learned that you can share?
Life is short and I think that if this crisis taught us anything it is that we should love one another and live life to the absolute fullest. Spend every day doing what you love to do, and never stop dreaming and reaching your goals.

It is the little things in life that mean the most. Find your little things and make the most of them.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Luther Photography, Christiana J. Photography, and Kristen Golden Photography

Suggest a Story: VoyageKC is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition, please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Local Stories