Both playful and audacious, equal part reverie while pushing the boundaries of fashion completely forward, Boxing Kitten is a vibrant melee of Then and Now. Vintage-inspired silhouettes celebrate a time gone by, with designs that call upon the spirit and lives of mid-century American women that are modernized for the woman of today and the future.
Although constantly pulling inspiration from various sources, the current collection is specifically driven by elements within the political and cultural climate of the Civil Rights Movement. The collection uses vibrant African wax block print fabrics, which makes each piece unmatched. Each garment fuses bold print combinations with charmingly demure patterns and flawless construction. This ironic sensibility is the common thread intertwining throughout, skillfully woven by its founder and designer, Maya A. Lake. Readily embracing contradiction with a keen understanding of how interconnected everything is, Lake’s vision is what makes Boxing Kitten unique and infinitely approachable. Lake modestly describes her line of dresses and separates as having an “ethnic rockabilly” look.
Planting its first seeds with mostly friends and close acquaintances as customers, Boxing Kitten has swiftly assembled an impressive array of celebrity fans and high clientele. You can spot these bright, colorful pieces on fierce women such as Beyonce, Alicia Keys, Rihanna, Solange Knowles, Fergie, Erykah Badu, and in the pages of The New York Times, Teen Vogue, and Arise.
Maya Amina Lake was born in Brooklyn, NY. Daughter to Marion and Oliver Lake, she grew up in New Jersey and has a B.A. in African-American studies from Wesleyan University. She is an avid indoor and beach volleyball player and has an Abyssinian cat named Fancy. Lake is a self taught designer and entrepreneur.
The majority of textiles used by Boxing Kitten are Ankara fabrics which are 100% cotton veritable wax hollandais prints. Wax hollandaise is a method using wax block prints and batiking techniques. Patterns are printed in wax on long strips of cloth, which are then immersed in vats of dye, usually indigo. The parts of the cloth not covered in wax absorb the dye, laying down a basic pattern. The wax-printed fabric can be sent through machines that partially break off the wax; since the wax breaks arbitrarily, no two lengths of the cloth are quite alike, which is what gives wax-print fabric its characteristic organic richness. Then the fabric is pattern-printed with other colors, anywhere from one to three times. This is a part of what makes each garment from Boxing Kitten particularly unique. Maya A. Lake, designer of Boxing Kitten also finds large inspiration from the vibrant prints and irregularities of the fabric, which is why she uses it so enthusiastically. The fabric is largely bought, worn and marketed in Western African countries.