London Kaye: Everything You Need to Know!
London Kaye, a yarn bomber, artist, and designer, is coming to J. Landa for a pop up event you won’t want to miss! We got a chance to sit down with her at her Brooklyn apartment and chat.
So who is London Kaye?
London began crocheting at age 13 after recovering from a back injury in high school. Business boomed as she started selling scarves to her fellow dancers and she was able to buy herself her first car at sixteen. Despite her back injury, she received a full dance scholarship to NYU and New York has been home ever since.
London hasn’t always been her own boss - while working at the Apple Store, a customer came in with a crazy crocheted bag, and the lightbulb went off: you can make more than scarves with crochet! She wrapped a scarf around a tree outside her apartment, and London Kaye the yarn bomber was born. At the time, she was living in the Bed-Stuy neighborhood of Brooklyn surrounded by a mix of cultures and people and didn’t know how the community would react. She worried for nothing: the community loved it!
The first installation, 5/13/13
Soon after she started a 30 day crochet challenge, putting up a piece each day for a month and posting photos of her work on Instagram. Ranging from crochet covered trees and polls to art on chainlink fences and beyond, London’s early work focused on adding to, rather than distracting from, her surroundings. New York was the perfect canvas; since no one was watching her she felt she could do anything.
Crocheted IKEA bags were a natural next step for London, who carries her supplies around New York in the multipurpose bags. Repurposing and recycling IKEA bags into art and fashion was a no brainer and she crocheted a bright blue eye in memory of her grandfather. The bags took off, with clients loving how each is a one of a kind piece of art. That first bag has since become her logo, and one of her most famous designs.
London Kaye’s “big break” came while she was competing on season 29 of The Amazing Race. Gone for a month with no phone or social media, London missed the opportunity to be featured in a yarn and crochet documentary, though was approached for an interview after the documentary was released. To their surprise, the New York Times picked it up. More specifically the Sunday Style Section of the New York Times picked up the interview with London, not the documentary.
This was the perfect platform for the next step, and London Kaye has furthered her career with a line of backpacks in collaboration with Millioneiress. Crochet holds so much nostalgia in people’s hearts, with its “old style grandma” connotation, and London’s found a way to channel that while reinventing it into something young, fresh, and different. Her genuine passion for the art and craft of crochet has been instrumental in her success.
Constantly looking to the future, London is collaborating with brands like Lion Brand Yarn and Wool to create her own line of yarn, which will be sold at Michael’s and Joann’s. She has also created her own patent-pending crochet hooks, combining all her favorite features to create the ultimate hook for loose crochet.
We’re so excited to see what London brings with her for her initial visit to Texas! Shop her iconic bags, take a selfie with London’s first installation in Texas, and mingle with your new favorite designer. You won’t want to miss this: join us August 17th for an all-day event with London Kaye!