"Mon parcours est un long voyage dont les étapes et les rencontres, faites parfois sur les chemins de traverse que j'emprunte en Aveyron ou en terre inconnue, ont enrichi et concouru à stimuler mon travail de création et mes projets en développement.
La création, par exemple, de boutiques en nom propre favorise le contact direct avec ma clientèle, cette relation intimiste m’inspire, m’oriente et fertilise les modèles à venir. Ma façon, à la fois raisonnée et poétique, d'aborder l'univers de la mode constitue l'essence même de ma réflexion et me donne l'énergie de renouveler sans cesse mes collections.
L'alchimie de tout cela, la création qui se renouvelle sans cesse, mon ouverture au monde sans parti pris, sans attaches particulières, si ce n'est au travail et à la ténacité, a séduit le monde de la mode à l’étranger et fait que toute femme, qu'elle soit Aveyronnaise, Parisienne, Japonaise, Américaine, Italienne, Russe, ou Saoudienne... peut s'approprier mes vêtements et s'y reconnaître."
Catherine André has travelled extensively in Scotland and Ireland since high school and even today is influenced by the landscapes she took in there, with their colours, light, textures and weather... She recorded these impressions in her notebooks, illustrating her drawings with the materials at hand, such as small threads of wool sold in tweed factories.
Knitting has always been her primary means of expression, and colours, forms and textures her tools. As early as 1976, Catherine began making knitted jumpers and wall hangings to order. She has also been very much inspired by her love for Renaissance and Baroque music, which she renders on the flute and « viola da gamba ». Another childhood dream came true when she was accepted to the Fine Arts School of Nimes.
In the 1980s, the adventure continued with a chance to go to Italy and work closely with designer and colourist Rosanna Orlandi at the Orlandi textile mill, a cornerstone of high fashion in France and Italy. It was during this six-year collaboration that Catherine André “rediscovered colour”, learning to organise and juggle nuances, to create scales, and to give real meaning to harmonies.
All the while, she was making inroads as an independent designer with ready-to-wear and couture brands like Cacharel, Lacoste and Ungaro. She was also very much in demand as a consultant for international textile mills, including a hand-knitting yarn mill in Japan, with which she still works today.
In 1993, her totally unique approach to knits and colour earned her an opportunity to create a small knit collection for Philippe Model. It was at this time that she earned a reputation in fashion circles as a “magician with colours, an enchantress with knits”. More doors opened.
|2003,||le prix Export Midi-Pyrénées des conseillers du commerce extérieur.|
|2006,||le prix des dirigeants commerciaux de France pour la performance commerciale.|
|2009,||le prix du Conseil Régional de Midi-Pyrénées "Entreprise expérimentée à l'export".|
|2011||Catherine ANDRE a reçu les insignes de Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur|
After presenting her first collection under her maiden name in January 1995, at the ready-to-wear tradeshow in Paris, “Catherine André” booked her first major orders from Japan. This was the beginning of Catherine André’s ascension. She launched the brand that bears her name in May of that year. All of this was part of a dream she had, to let her imagination shape her designs and have an opportunity to work with knits at an industrial level. She set up her company in Millau, a rural revitalisation area of the French Aveyron department, which she and her husband call home. Her design office gradually began to attract a close-knit team of dynamic young people, most of whom are women. The company slowly began to take shape.
She opened three flagship shops in Paris from 2006 to 2011 and one in Gent (Belgium) in 2010.
In 2011 she was honored with the rewards of « Chevalier de l’ordre de la Légion d’Honneur.
In 2015 she was selected to design uniforms for the staff of Musée Soulages (Rodez – France).