Meredith Pilcher and Amanda Kelly Espiritu initially met through the Sofar Sounds NY Ambassadors group in 2017 when Amanda was MC’ing a concert Meredith was also staffed at. The two and quickly bonded over their love of music and art. Meredith shared that she was looking to launch her company Katsicats in NY in May 2017 and was eager to partner with local artists and musicians to launch a line of hand-painted jackets, shoes, and accessories that aimed to prove the world was a designer’s canvas. Laughing about the days when they both used to draw on their shoes with Sharpies, Amanda signed on to be one of the featured artists for the launch party at United Palace.
All artists were given a set of acrylic leather paint and a pair of white tennis shoes or high tops courtesy of Katsicats sponsor Reebok. Amanda chose bright yellow, orange, and blue paint to decorate her white high tops for the launch event. Guests wandered through the Grand Lobby at United Palace and along the second floor of the Grand Lobby exploring the art gallery of all the Katsicats' artists shoes hanging from canvases and easels. Amanda’s shoes were exhibited alongside artists Emily Chu, Emily Baldassera, and Nima Veiseh amongst others.
During the opening reception, signature Katsicats cocktails sponsored by Marriette Vodka were served to guests, while Sexy Batch Baking Co. served guests a delicious array of home-baked cookies. The evening culminated with a concert in the main lobby featuring musician AJ Smith with orchestra, Little Kruta and a performance by April Rose Gabrielli from the band The Rose Monarch. AJ Smith and April Rose Gabrillei were decked out in the latest Katsicats collection with AJ wearing a jacket by artist Emily Baldassera and April Rose wearing a pair of shoes painted by Meredith Pilcher.