Uses This

A collection of nerdy interviews asking people from all walks of life what they use to get the job done.

A picture of Kate Towers

Kate Towers

Fashion designer, artist

Who are you, and what do you do?

My name is Kate Towers. I live in Portland, OR, with my husband and 2 kids. I originally went to art school for graphic design and illustration, but ended up in the fashion business. It's something I've always loved and kind of fell into. I am self-taught, so sometimes I take the unmarked road to get somewhere, but the process can be enjoyable. Everything is made in my studio.

I am:

1 - a mother: short order chef, taxi driver, master of laundry and squelching sibling quarrels. I pride myself in making birthday cakes and Halloween costumes for my kids every year, even though they'd probably prefer the store bought ones.

2 - a designer: I make limited edition collections and continue to search for the ultimate way to make a living as an artist. I also feel the need to work on other kids of art and I really enjoy many outlets of creative expression, whatever I can get my hands on.

What hardware do you use?

Because my computer skills are from 1994, I prefer the old school method of cutting and pasting, with all things that I do. I use my MacBook Pro daily, to check email and "do business", an iPhone 6 for photos and general communication. For sewing I have a JUKI industrial straight stitcher, Baby Lock Imagine serger, Ginger 8" dressmaker shears, and many other small sharp tools. When I draw I like to use Pigma Micron ink pens and Prismacolor Premier markers, watercolors.

And what software?

I'm an Instagram girl and prefer to say something with an image. I don't tend to over-post and you'll generally see photos of my kids and the occasional fashion items, when they are ready for public view. The dog makes an appearance once in a while but that's about it. Not too many selfies or green smoothies. I debate deleting my Facebook account every so often, but can't seem to do it. The best way to get ahold of me is through email!

Also, my fabrics: mostly natural fiber blends, cotton, silk, linen, denim, rayon. I love interesting textures and colors. I find that fabric is the most frustrating thing about designing. There is an abundance of really hideous textiles in the world and I have a very hard time committing to something I don't love.

What would be your dream setup?

I'd love to have my own showroom, or perhaps a shared showroom and studio combo, something off the beaten path but centrally located with an abundance of natural light and industrial features, a great wall for photo shoots, a corner for messy art projects and a sink for hand dying fabrics, in-house production set up and a personal assistant :)