Cats Brothers!

Cats Brothers!

When two knitwear designers have a night out in a Mexican-themed bar/restaurant called Crazy Homies, the OBVIOUS thing to do is of course create a collection called Crazy Homies, dedicated to dead rappers segueing into Day of the Dead.  Well, actually maybe that isn't so obvious but nonetheless we should be congratulating Anna Wilkinson and Lindsay McKean for coming up with something this awesome out of the haze of a margarita hangover.   Anna and Lindsay met whilst working for a textiles company but then discovered they had both graduated in knitwear from Winchester, albeit seven years apart.  Lindsay has also been freelancing for a few menswear designers like Omar Kashoura and William Richard Green and Anna with her handknit speciality has just published a book "Lean to Knit, Love to Knit".    

Their Crazy Homies night out spurred them into starting their spontaneous label Cats Brothers, a curious name obtained from an even more curious piece of random art.  Initially they wanted to create a Snoop Dogg jumper complete with fake cornrows but then stumbled onto the idea of paying homage to dead rappers through the upbeat aesthetics of all things Day of the Dead.  With their theme worked out, the collection came together quite quickly and was presented in a jewellery store in Shoreditch in November.  

The stand out, attention-grabbing and defintiely Tumblr/internet gen-friendly piece of the collection is undoubtedly the Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes baggy jumper, depicting the TLC member in her younger toothy smile days, complete with a fake bit of hair and eye-patch tcovering up her left eye.  It's a stroke of knit wit genius and definitely one that I could see sparking a demand for a whole music artist knitted series if Lindsay and Anna aren't careful.  Their dead rapper homages in the collections play out on pre-printed t-shirts that are then embroidered over, giving new life to those heavily-reproduced iconic images of Tupac, Biggie and MCA from the Beastie Boys.  The rest of the collection fleshed out the Day of the Dead theme with skull crochet, sarape stripes and paisley beading running riot over bomber jackets, hoodies, cropped tees and customised vintage denim pieces.  It's a joyful collection that wasn't born out of strategy or meticulous planning but instead is an edearing expression of fun-filled craft that could see Cats Brothers as a label developing in several ways.    

For now there is no seasonal rhythm to the way Anna and Lindsay work and that's how they want to keep it for now as they begin their Cats Brothers journey, testing the waters and gauging interest from buyers and collaborators.  They've made pretty good progress already with Browns picking them up to launch the collection in time for London Fashion Week.  Maybe there's a way of capitalising on the embroidered rapper tees, which is why they're launching their own online shop soon.

What started as an idea from a night out at a themed bar has quickly gathered pace into a real tangible business but I suspect Anna and Lindsay are first and foremost focused on really enjoying their knitted endeavours and taking pleasure from their collaborative pieces, taking the business side of things as it comes.  

Cats Brothers!
Anna Wilkson and Lindsay McKean with their label namesake inspiration

IMG_9872

IMG_9873
IMG_9874

Bandana Baseball & Fair Isle Hoodie

IMG_9881

Bandana Baseball Jkt

IMG_9880

Beaded Paisley Collar

IMG_9894

Beaded Sweater & Denim Jkt w Cats Bros!

Beaded Sweater

IMG_9884

Crochet Skull Tee & Pinata

Snapback Stack

Denim Jkt w: Fair Isle Sleeves

IMG_9891

IMG_9892

Fair Isle Hoodie

IMG_9887

IMG_9888

Mexican Rug & Biggie

Papel Picado Tee

IMG_9876

B.I.G Bomber Back

IMG_9903

Beastie Boys T-shirt
Biggie Tshirt & Beaded Scarf

IMG_9908

IMG_9915

Tupac T-shirt Dress

IMG_9911

Tupac T-shirt

IMG_9909

Lisa Left Eye Sweater

IMG_9898

IMG_9921

IMG_9919

22 comments

Leave a comment
  1. Elisa

    2012-12-14 at 2:21 PM

    Actually, and surprisingly, I really like this! Not usually a fan of embroideries, but in this case it looks totally right, and very uplifting.
    Elisa – Wandering Minds
    http://ourwanderingminds.com

  2. Serdane

    2012-12-14 at 3:35 PM
  3. Nadia Simple & Funky

    2012-12-14 at 3:58 PM

    Damn this is good! Loving it, need all of those in my life…thank you for the discovery!

  4. Nadia Simple & Funky

    2012-12-14 at 3:58 PM

    Damn this is good! Loving it, need all of those in my life…thank you for the discovery!

  5. Nadia Simple & Funky

    2012-12-14 at 3:58 PM

    Damn this is good! Loving it, need all of those in my life…thank you for the discovery!

  6. Miss Coco

    2012-12-14 at 4:01 PM
  7. captivelouise

    2012-12-14 at 5:21 PM

    Oh.My.God. This is amazing!! And it must be warm as hell! I love this, the Lisa Left Eye and the Tupac one is just… aaah, damn. Gimme!
    http://captivelouise.wordpress.com/

  8. isabel

    2012-12-14 at 9:41 PM

    love the frida kahlo style!
    http://www.mamajulesbrussels.blogspot.com

  9. Closeted Dreamer

    2012-12-14 at 9:55 PM

    LOVE IT !!!!!!!!!!!!! thanks for sharing !!
    wish you post this earlier, I was just in London the past 2 weeks, would have gone to hunting for them.
    I know I live in NY but I just love London Fashion.
    http://www.closeteddreamer.com

  10. birdfriend

    2012-12-15 at 4:30 AM

    what???? these are awesome!! i love everything that’s inspired by mexican textiles. my favorite is the blue sweater with thick embroidery and big beads!!
    mackenzie
    http://www.birdfriend.tumblr.com

  11. Natalie

    2012-12-15 at 6:21 AM

    I really love that paisley denim shirt!

  12. sense2 logo products

    2012-12-15 at 6:46 AM

    It’s a great Festival, and you are fully deserved of being there with you’re ambitious and talented. And..anyhow, I hope we’ll have more CONS in Orlando…It’s fun!
    sense2 logo products

  13. Performance and Cocktails

    2012-12-15 at 12:58 PM

    This is GENIUS

  14. Kate

    2012-12-15 at 1:34 PM

    Wow I absolutely love these designs, so creative, original and colourful. I’m always looking for interesting knitwear, so much of it in the shops is so boring! This has inspired me to add more colour to my own projects too.

  15. anna

    2012-12-15 at 3:59 PM

    My friend lives next door and has been trying to drag me for months, now I know why, Margharitas and inspiration on tap.
    x

  16. Rachel

    2012-12-16 at 12:07 AM

    The clothing is so fun and light-hearted that it almost feels wrong that the only thing I can think of when I look at them is your posts about cultural appropriation! however that Mexican blanket inspired knit sweater is amazing. I’m so torn!

  17. Sarah

    2012-12-16 at 2:09 AM

    I love the pom poms and the crocheted skulls 😀 This is very cool collection and I love the inspiration behind it. Its just a reminder of the beauty we can see in life everyday just from the places we visit and people we see!
    xoxo,
    http://www.sassyriot.com

  18. The Provoker

    2012-12-16 at 3:32 AM

    They make a great combo, love the knitted tee with the day of the dead skull motif on the chest.
    xx The Provoker
    http://www.the-provoker.com/2012/12/pubic-humiliation.html

  19. Fashion Style Guide

    2012-12-17 at 12:22 PM

    Wow!
    Those were really colorful clothes.
    Now, I already have an idea on what to post next on my fashion blog. Thanks!

  20. suzieq

    2012-12-20 at 1:44 PM

    Wow!
    Love the colors and the frida Khalo inspiration.
    http://qstomizate.blogspot.com.es/

  21. Naeemah

    2013-01-04 at 1:33 PM

    This stuff is amazing! It’s upsetting how Anna and Lindsey are not well known designers:(
    This work has truly inspired me to learn how to knit and crochet.
    Well done girls, you’re truly inspirational 🙂 x

  22. carpet cleaning fulham

    2014-08-04 at 8:03 PM

    Wow! Pretty nice colours.

Leave a Comment