We had a chance to sit down with Katerina Lankova, one of our design entrepreneurs to learn more about STEE-LETAS, a fun, legwear label that keeps ladies in style below the knee!
Can you tell us about your brand?
STEE-LETAS is a different kind of legwear that can serve as a substitute for boots, and keep you warm and protected from the weather. They are highly fashionable and you will be noticed once you put them on! You’ll probably also get asked questions about what they are when you wear them!
They are a great accessory between the seasons too. You can wear them when it’s cold or warm because they are made out of many different materials such as lace, leather and anything in between.
How did you get started?
I have been sewing all my life but in 2007, I left Aspen after six years and came to NY with conscious plan to become a fashion designer. So I believe that was the start of my fashion career. I wanted to design skiwear but then when I created STEE-LETAS it changed my direction.
STEE-LETAS® were purely made out of necessity. I was sitting in my apartment at 3 a.m. with no money to spend on boots, so I made my legwear out of old stretch turtleneck and piece of a leather skirt. It worked!When I began, I was only using leather but then I thought of legs as a canvas and started using other materials and techniques such as lace, feathers, embroidery etc…The options are pretty much endless. You can use the front panel for a piece of art if you wish.
Did you go to design school?
I did go to school for textile of manufacturing and technology back in the Czech Republic and I learned how to make clothes, but I had no idea I would become a designer. That was a process and journey, something you are given and cannot be learned. You just have to discover it within yourself. It took me a long time to find it and own it.
What’s your aesthetic?
I would say fashion forward and edgy. I believe I am innovative and also like to recycle and use materials from vintage stores to incorporate them into my designs because the end product has more personality.
Tell me about all of your lines you are currently working on?
At this moment I am mainly focusing on STEE-LETAS®, but on the side I’ve been involved with other projects such as designing costumes for music videos and dance performances.
In ski season, I also make special custom pieces for ladies in Aspen. It has always been my passion. I can make endless designs of STEE-LETAS and I can do it with my eyes closed, but to make something like ski pants gives me more of a challenge. I need that besides making something as simple as legwear. I like the intricate and tailored jackets and creating skiwear and equestrian one-of-a-kind pieces gives me feeling of true satisfaction.
But I like it all, and I love to sew. I make everything myself and don’t have a seamstress. My ideas come through while I am working on the actual piece and touching the material.