JUKI Designer Ambassador: Kiki Kitty

Introducing Kiki Kitty, owner, and designer of K. Milele, as one of our new JUKI Designer Ambassadors! A member of the fashion industry since the ’90s, where she started off with FUBU’s womenswear, Kiki Kitty is a force to be reckoned with.

One of five siblings, Kiki grew up in a home where she and her family would focus on creating everyday items to stay entertained. Creating projects like ragdolls, pillows, and slippers, she was inspired by her mother, who found art in everything. Taught by her mother, Kiki would create using natural pieces like pinecones and other found items to create projects like home décor whenever inspiration struck. Through these small projects that Kiki learned how to build her creative eye, assisting her for years to come when it was time for her to design fashion.

Finding sewing as another art medium, her first lesson was thanks to her mother. A fun activity for her and her siblings, Kiki would complete little projects to train herself on the machine and work her way up on project size and complexity. One of her favorite parts about sewing has been the freedom to explore new techniques and concepts. Through her excitement to learn, she sees each mistake as an opportunity to learn something new.

“I love when a mistake turns into the greatest thing about a garment because it forced me to have to look at it in a new way.”

Kiki’s love for the hobby has grown, leading her into the fashion industry in the ’90s as a designer for FUBU, a women’s streetwear fashion line. Motivated by her need to artistically express herself, she finds the process to be therapeutic. Seeing this as a way to express her thoughts was her first step in learning to express herself. “It took me a very long time to find my voice, to verbally express myself, and to stand up for myself. Expression through art was always my outlet. And even now that I’ve discovered my voice, creating remains to be my most powerful expression.”

While her time at FUBU led to her first brand K.A.Kitties, a venture she’s proud and fond of, her most tremendous success was only recently accomplished in her latest fashion collection K.Milele, “This is My Protest.” Using her JUKI machines, our MO-20000QVP, and HZL-NX7, she states she was finally able to create a collection that is 100% her self-expression. With the opportunity to explore prints, patterns, and textures, she hopes to create beautiful, one-of-a-kind pieces representing her and those she designs for.

Her newest collection has trends like gathering, a favorite of Kiki’s since the ’90s. Loving how the final product looks, she finds it’s a simple technique that elevates the simple styles into sexy numbers, something her line embodies. Loving anything that creates fabric manipulation is her favorite trend in sewing. A must-have tool she keeps on hand for these projects is her tweezers. Allowing her told the fabric in place and keeping her fingers away from the machine after one terrible accident in her time at Pratt University when she first began sewing on industrial machines, she finds this tool to be a finger saver.

From FUBU to her current collection, Kiki’s journey in sewing is far from over. We hope you enjoyed getting to know our ambassador today and that you keep up with her future projects! Kiki’s new collection can be found on her socials here, and we’re so excited to see her projects come to life! Kiki’s final note to you JUKI lovers is this, “When you’re trying it [sewing] out, don’t get frustrated about making mistakes. Often mistakes make way for the opportunity to be creative and discover that there’s more than one way to achieve a great outcome. Even if it’s not the idea, you started with. Be flexible. See the beauty in what’s in front of you.”

JUKI Designer Ambassador: Mah-Jing Wong

Welcoming new JUKI Designer Ambassador, meet Mah-Jing Wong! Founder and Designer for his line Mah-Jing Wong, he began sewing as a child under his grandmother’s teachings. An activity they loved doing together, sewing is the connection to his childhood and grandmother he keeps with him to this day.

His beginning in sewing is a sweet memory, with his first project being a hat! First seen on Michael Jackson and wanting his own, he went to his grandmother and asked how to create his own. From there, he completed his first project, grandmother along his side, and step by step sewed it together. This event would set the tone for his future career.

Later in life, Mah-Jing would attend the Arts Institute of Philadelphia, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Fashion Marketing. In his senior year, he would begin interning with top fashion designers Zac Posen. It was here that he began planning to create his own clothing brand that launched in 2011. Inspired by Japanese anime and the Marvel Comic book world, his work uses simple silhouettes with hand-dyed prints and geometrical shapes. His favorite work to create is his bodycon dresses, seen during his time as a contestant on Project Runway.

Since his time on project runway, Mah-Jing has continued to move up in the fashion industry, working with superstars such as Cardi B, Megan Thee Stallion, Chole Bailey, and many more! With his work garnering attention for its style and boldness, it has been featured in pop lifestyle settings like stage performances, music videos, and Magisterhaft covers. Mah-Jing continues to wow his followers as he works on the new collection, with orders already being placed.

With a design style that is innovative and fun, Mah-Jing’s favorite sewing trend right now is the exposed overlock thread. Using his JUKI overlock MCS-1700QVP, his favorite tool in his studio, he can create the base for all his creations and easily add this trend.

Mah-Jing states his experience in sewing has been rewarding. Like anything in life, sewing has had its ups and downs, but it remains his safe space for expressing his creativity like so many of you. His piece of advice for sewers is this, “stay calm and trust the process.” A saying we all understand in sewing and quilting.

We hope you enjoyed getting to know Mah-Jing as much as we have JUKI Lovers! So follow along with his journey and JUKI today and visit us here today!

Which fashion piece was your favorite? Let us know below!