From ball gowns to prom dresses and bridal wear, Catiana Signor does it all. After completing a fashion degree, the young designer established her own company, Catz Couture Dresses, which specialises in designing a wide variety of couture wear. She is well on her way to success despite having cerebral palsy (CP) in her legs – something she believes hasn’t really affected her life much.
“I was born prematurely, about two months early, which caused a lack of oxygen in my body that affected my legs. My condition hasn’t really impacted my life as I have amazing parents who put me in a normal school and didn’t treat me any differently. They have taught me to do and try anything that life throws at me,” she explains.
Catiana does not always rely on a wheelchair – although, for comfort reasons, it is her choice of mobility aid when she goes out. She adds: “I walk on a walker, walk upstairs with a rail on the wall, I have my driver’s licence and I always try my best to be independent as I can.”
Designing clothing was a natural fit for Catiana, who has been interested in fashion since childhood. By the time she reached grade ten, she wanted to own her own business.
“I love it when someone comes for their final fitting and I see the joy on their face when the dress is revealed. It’s the best part of my job! I love to make people happy and to satisfy their expectations,” she says.
Although Catz Couture Dresses is still only a small business run from her home, Catiana plans to grow the business and see her designs sold in stores.
About her company she notes: “I strive to deliver the perfect dress for every occasion and, most importantly, ensure that every customer leaves Catz Couture Dresses with a smile on their face. The range includes wedding, bridesmaid’s, mother-of-the-bride, flower girl and matric dresses and any other type of couture dress. I take a hands-on approach and give special attention to every order, big or small, and ensure the highest quality on any given budget.”