Plain Tiger Spotlight: KAN
Fashion for the Romantic
By Renee Fortune
The KAN story began in Mexico City and unfolded into Europe. It’s locale has changed. It’s aesthetic has evolved. But its philosophy remains the same: creating beautiful fashion should not harm the planet or its people.
KAN represents the coming together of two minds: Manuela van Vloten-Sabarez and Denisa Cucu. Manuela studied International Business in Amsterdman and Denisa studied Design and Architecture in Florence. Together, they have built a brand that radiates style and creativity, bolstered by an excellent work ethic and business acumen. Theirs, like many other vibrant entrepreneurs in this space, is a story of leaving the safe territory of a 9-to-5 career to delve into the intriguing and fast-paced world of fashion.
“It’s paramount for us that we keep educating ourselves to make better decisions around offering our customers the most sustainable garments we can. It’s more than just the fabrics we use. It’s the way we produce the clothes, the work-life balance of our team, the conditions our people work under and our commitment to low waste and low carbon footprint. We aim to set the bar higher in terms of sustainability with every collection we design,” explains KAN founder and designer, Manuela van Vloten-Sabarez.
There is a distinctly romantic appeal that emanates from each of KAN’s collections: flowing fabric, broad frills, tiered dresses and elegant pleats are part of the brand’s trademark aesthetic. Colour is used discerningly, erring towards neutral shades and pops of pastel colour. Texture abounds in fabrics like organic linen, sourced from renowned European suppliers. Ranging from form-fitting to loose and relaxed, KAN’s garments appeal to a wide range of tastes, age groups, body shapes, and skin tones. The wide appeal of the brand reflects one of KAN’s most prevalent convictions: inclusive fashion is good fashion.
When designing, Manuela turns to nature for inspiration: “2020 and its challenges brought about reflection time and a deep desire to go back to my roots. I did not take the time spent in nature for granted. It was a privilege, a celebration and the ultimate joy.” Her love of the natural world is reflected in KAN’s planet-first, and future-forward philosophy. KAN only works with organic, biodegradable fabrics that are dyed with natural colours. The collections feature block colouring and single shades for the most part, but here and there you’ll encounter designs with delicate floral accents – an ode to Manuela’s appreciation for natural beauty and femininity.
As Manuela explains: “We started KAN four years ago and haven’t looked back. We’ve always been committed to sustainable fashion. With every year that passed and every learning along the way, we’ve become stronger and more focused on what really matters: creating chic wearable designs that are kind and loving to our nature and its living beings.”