Luxury vegan handbag brand Kaila Katherine aims to create high-end accessories from innovative plant-based materials. Their hand-crafted, animal-free creations are the true embodiment of luxury that you can feel good about.
About the Founder
Mikaila Roncevich began her vegan journey in the third grade, vowing to never eat meat again, protesting at the circus and showing up to school with PETA buttons covering her backpack. Mikaila was born with a love for sewing, which she was taught by her mother. As she got older, Mikaila found herself struggling to find luxury accessories that didn’t compromise style for sustainability.
Throughout her undergraduate studies at NYU, Mikaila focused on researching and sourcing the perfect material to create sustainable, vegan fashion herself. In the meantime, she gained experience in the fashion industry by working at brands such as Oscar de la Renta. During the end of her junior year, Mikaila decided to create her brand, Kaila Katherine, focusing on cactus leather.
“At Kaila Katherine we believe that, with the advanced technology of today, leather is an unnecessary evil.”
The main material in Kaila Katherine's collection is cactus leather sourced from Guadalajara. This toxic chemical-free, cruelty-free material is sourced from a Mexico-based, farmer-owned startup whose team has developed a sustainable process using the Nopal cactus, which is native to the area and is grown with zero herbicides or pesticides.
Cactus is a natural carbon sink, and the farm is able to absorb 8,100 tons of C02 per year across 14 acres. No trees are cut down to harvest the cactus, and because the plant is native to the area, it blends with the wild flora and matches the natural local biodiversity. Only mature leaves of the cactus are cut, and this process causes no damage to the rest of the plant, to support a new harvest with the same plant every 6-8 months.
After the leaves are cut, they are laid to dry under the sun for three days using no additional energy. Once they reach a certain level of humidity, the raw materials are mixed into a unique formula with no toxic chemicals to create beautiful colours and finishes.
In 2020 Mikaila interviewed half a dozen factories, most of them in Manhattan, and was touched by the history of one of the oldest family-owned factories in the city. Each worker is paid a living wage, and every single piece of the bags are cut, sewn and finished by hand on Park Avenue.
Kaila Katherine is a proudly vegan brand.
To discover more like this, visit our vegan bags collection.
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