©2019 by Chara & CO / Katia Cattaneo
Photographer: Piero Beghi http://fotobeghi.it

Katia Cattaneo

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My Story

I lived a troubled childhood and adolescence and had a difficult relationship with my body. It is only later in my adulthood that I rediscovered my femininity. I was different and did not fit the standards dictated by the fashion industry, battling problems with hypothyroidism and a totally wrong diet. As a young girl, I was forced to dress with clothes one or two sizes larger than mine, very much tent like, that hid any small hint of curves or “uncomfortable” roundness. Every time I wanted a new garment, a little nicer that could enhance my curves, I was told that my size was not available and that it would not look good anyway. The clothes that fit me could not be found in the Teen’s department but in the Women's department, although I wasn’t a woman yet, and with a fit never adapted to my young physique. The clothes were sad, lacking in brio and color, and did not transmit any joy of dressing but became a necessity and a frustration, making me fall into despair and discomfort.

It affected my self-esteem and I no longer believed in myself.  The message I was constantly given was: “You're too big, too round, too tall, too much of this, too much of that, you're not beautiful…”. Making me feel like I didn’t even deserve the pleasure of dressing up. I was suddenly escorted by my family to dieticians and nutritionists, subjected to very restrictive diets and forced to fast, resulting in the famous yo-yo effect.

 

The turning point for me was at 41 when I participated in a competition from a well-known chain of Swiss women's clothing stores looking for curvy models. I aced the intermediate selections and landed in the finals presenting a refined burlesque act and to my satisfaction was crowned Miss Ticino Curvy.

With the acquired title, I was immediately offered a job and started working for a Swiss Model agency in Zurich. All of this gave me the desire to help other women just like me, encouraging them with my image, my example and my experiences.

I quickly had to learn my new profession since I had so far only worked as a trade clerk in a psychiatric office.  I began participating, by invitation, to events such as Miss Ticino Curvy, released interviews with newspapers, radio and women's magazines, participated in photoshoots and in workshops for Bon Ton and Portamento. I grew into the role of influencer and became a coach for aspiring models.

Today, I am the co-founder of Chara & Co., a women's fashion company, with my partner Françoise Vianin and I have recently launched my first capsule collection for Katia Cattaneo. A collection of dresses designed for the curvy body in sizes 44 to 54, made in Italy with Swiss quality standards.

 

I am the mother of three beautiful girls, now adolescents, to whom I try to convey a message of positivity for the care and love of their body.  Making them understand and accept all of the body transformations typical to this period of their life.

I stress the importance and the wellbeing of maintaining a healthy physical and mental state through a balanced diet while staying active.

 

Our Mission

I teach with new awareness, how important it is to respect one's physical appearance and above all one’s own morphology, enhancing its feminine aspect.

Respecting one's own body, a testimonial of your own life and above all not to aspire to someone we would never be. Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes.

 

Our Message

There is no perfect size, height or color, but only women who wish to be recognized as such, in their own and wonderful sensuality, emphasizing their pure and proud femininity.

Do not erase yourself, enhance your innate beauty and your joy of living!

Dare to be who you are, what you live for and what you believe in, dancing in the beautiful spectacle of life.

Be happy, be a woman and free your natural sensuality without fear. Remember that beauty does not depend on size but the attitude you emanate. Your perfect imperfections are your strong point. Loved now and forever!

 
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Contacts

 6850 Mendrisio