Founder and Creative Director, Houghton
Los Angeles native, Katharine Polk is the Founder and Creative Director of Houghton. Founded in 2011, Polk disrupted the bridal industry and blurred the line between Bridal and RTW. Katharine has grown Houghton into an international brand selling in over 10 countries and has been committed to being made in the USA. Polk led the brand creatively through 22 collections, navigated sponsor partnerships such as Birkenstock, MAC, OPI, Converse and Dr Martens, designed exclusive collaborations for FWRD, Free People and Net-A-Porter and grew an organic social following through strategic marketing and branding.
Katharine was the first Bridal Designer to offer a “Buy-Now-Wear-Now” event at her SS17 show and her FW17 Film Premiere was named “The best thing to happen to Bridal Week” by Nylon.com. After telling her own story for Harpers Bazaar about her lifelong struggle with depression and eating disorders, Polk created “Houghton Girl”, a 15 minute documentary shining a spotlight on 10 beautiful, powerful women who opened up about their daily struggles in the workplace and how they succeed despite dealing with depression, motherhood and eating disorders.
Katharine won the 2016 St Louis Fashion Fund Caleres Women’s Wear Award, MADE sponsored designer 2012-2016, 2 time FGI Women’s RTW Designer nominee and has covered 2 issues of WWD. Polk quickly became a red carpet favorite among celebrities, Lily Collins, Kerry Washington, Kate Hudson, Selena Gomez, Hailey Baldwin, Kylie Jenner, Taylor Swift and Angelina Jolie are a few of the ladies Polk has dressed. Katharine has gained editorial accolades from Brides, Vogue and Harpers Bazaar.
Prior to launching Houghton, Polk was a stylist and New York Fashion Editor for a London based Publication. Polk styled fashion shows, editorials and celebrity clients. In 2007 Katharine started her career as the Assistant Designer at Badgley Mischka Couture and creatively managed over 20 licensees for the brand. Polk is the U.S. spokesperson for the international non-profit organization, Designers Against Aids and is an advocate for women and youth struggling with eating disorders.