An Interview with Kato Created by wilhelminaframe on 5/27/2013 7:17:12 PM
Editrix de Mode Wilhelmina Frame interviews internationally known fashion designer and personality Kato about her new website Steamgirl.
Kato, fashion designer, model and founder of Steampunk Couture is one of the most visible individuals in Steampunk. Featured in countless books and websites, for many, Kato is Steampunk's "it" girl. Earlier this year, Kato launched her new venture, Steamgirl.com. Editrix de Mode Wilhelmina Frame corresponded with Kato via e-mail about Steamgirl and other upcoming projects.
Wilhelmina Frame: How would you describe Steamgirl?
Kato: Steamgirl is a neo-Victorian fashion erotica site that plays host to photo set and videos.
What inspired you to launch Steamgirl?
The demand for my photography was as strong as it was for my clothing and people were requesting more than mere posters and prints. As there was no one creating Steampunk erotic photography or videos, and I have years of experience in fashion, styling, hair, makeup and photography, I decided to go for it.
What do Steamgirl site members receive?
Access to the world's very first Steampunk erotica site, containing tons of photo sets, videos and a free, non-steampunk bonus site, all for the price of a small pizza. :)
What / Who influenced you stylistically, in relation to Steamgirl?
No one. I make a point of steering clear of ever feeling influenced by any one thing or person, so as to best avoid being labelled for copying, something I'm all too familiar with myself, so I'd rather not join that party.
What was the creative process in bringing Steamgirl from idea to live site?
I first put a little word out about the idea via a private, admin facebook page and immediatelty received a bite from someone who had experience in creating adult websites. He put me in touch with the current web developer that I work with today. He built the site based on my designs and then referred me to a webmaster who updates it each week with the content that I send him. During this time, I shot about 72 photo sets and 13 videos ready for editing and adding to the site for its launch day. I should mention that this is the "prettier, shorter version" of the story. The reality of spending just over a year trying to create something that, in reality, should have been very simple, was in actual fact, gruesome, expensive, and officially the uttermost stressful thing I have ever dealt with in my entire life. I saw my work and money being stolen, dealing with frauds and a whole host of other issues. But it was a learning experience and one that I obviously needed to go through in order to teach me what to look out for in future and how to avoid another nervous breakdown! lol. The happy ending is that I was able to launch it, 90% finished, on Valentine's Day of all days, and it was, thankfully, a hit.
Is Steamgirl a “Kato” only site? Will you feature other models?
Steamgirl currently features five other models, engaging in seductive duo sets with me or fantastic solo sets of their own, with another three models about to make their debut on the site within the coming weeks and months. I receive about 25-50 new model applicant emails a day and book about 20 a year. The models are of all different shapes, sizes and ethnicities, so there's lots of variety. Apart from one or two, everyone I work with is a brand new model or has never modelled before. I thoroughly enjoy creating lovely images for girls that are trying to get a leg up in the alternative modelling industry.
Would you consider creating content featuring male models either as part of Steamgirl or as a separate website ?
I have considered it and then remembered that it's not a popular concept, has been done before and usually fails. If I did, it would be for fun and because I'd have some time on my hands, but there's not a whole lot of profit in it.
What has been the fan / public response?
Wonderful. It's been met with great response. Like any brand new idea, it took some people by surprise and took a while for them to wrap their head around, but overall, it's been met with great respect and appreciation.
What is Steamgirl’s relationship with Steampunk Couture?
Steamgirl, in all honesty, is my break from running the clothing company. It's my change of pace and excuse to do something different, keep ideas fresh and my creativity alive. But in saying that, there is a lot of cross-over in regards to the clothing that I design and make and ultimately, use for both venues.
Just recently Steampunk Couture won, for the 2nd year in a row, Best Clothing Designer, in the Steampunk Chronicle Reader's Choice Awards. Would you comment on that win?
That is fantastic news. I'm honoured! Though, I did request that everyone vote for the other designers. They're much better than Steampunk Couture. :)
What other projects are you working on?
I'm in the final stages of production on a collectable Steamgirl figure, that everyone's been so patiently waiting for. And then a Steampunk Couture-related project which I'm currently under contract to keep quiet about, but I'll be sure to give Steampunk Chronicle the scoop on it once it's out. :)
What’s in the future for Steamgirl?
More models, more video content, new locations, new sets and merchandise.
What achievement is your wildest dream?
To retire! Is that an achievement? I've never been "goal oriented". I just take everything as it comes, ditch half of it, and take the quietest, most stress-free path I can. ...in the dream of retiring early. I wasn't joking. ;)
Is there anything you’d like to add?
I'm thrilled to be featured on Steampunk Chronicle. It's extremely kind to have the support and interest of something I'm a huge fan of.
All photos copyright and courtesy of Kato and Steamgirl.com.
In addition to the offiicial Steamgirl site, you can also check out Steamgirl's Blog and Tumblr feed.
Editrix de Mode and Part Time Lion Tamer, Wilhelmina Frame travels the globe in pursuit of adventure and style. When not in the circus ring with Rajah, her tiger and the rest of her “Kitten Kabal” (seven lions, three cheetahs and a rather droll panther), Ms. Frame can be seen at the most fabulous parties, in the latest fashions, sparkling with wit in conversation. Ms. Frame is the founder and Tiffin Master of The American Tea Duelling Society. Ms. Frame's alter-ego, Gretchen Jacobsen, is a freelance producer, award-winning costumer, prolific crafter and frequent convention panelist. She sings quite well also. Visit the home of The American Tea Duelling Society on Facebook, follow Ms. Frame on Pinterest or @ptliontamer on Twitter.