This is the secret to starting your own fashion business (hint: it's not all about Instagram)

These days, fashion start-ups seem to be popping up right left and centre, especially on Instagram thanks to a few fashion influencer endorsements. But while a few likes and trending pieces are great, that's not always enough to turn it into a lasting, successful business.

So what's the key? I decided to ask KITRI founder Haeni Kim. You'd be forgiven for thinking that the brand has been around for years, what with it being spotted on countless editors at fashion week, on celebs at events, and with pieces regularly selling out to the point they have a waiting list before being re-stocked.

However, KITRI was only founded a year ago, and to celebrate the milestone, a new pop-up has opened on Brewer Street in London, open until the end of the year...

The brand has been going for just over a year and it’s gone from strength to strength, what’s the secret?

Haeni: It has been an amazing journey for us as a team to receive such a positive reaction! We are trying to do something different, filling a gap in the market for design-driven, quality styles that won’t break the bank.

Making weekly drops of highly curated collection in limited quantity feels right for our current climate and our customers are really responding well to our model. We are having so much fun designing styles that we would like to wear ourselves, that is a little different and I think in the sea of similar looking brands, customers can find something special from us.

What does KITRI stand for?

Haeni: KITRI stands for design-driven, high-quality styles at affordable prices in limited quantity. Classics with a playful twist for confident, creative women.

What made you take the jump?

Haeni: After having worked in both high-end designer and value-driven high street brands, I felt that there still was a huge gap in the market for special items that I was looking for, I was desperate! I asked around my girlfriends, seeking advice on where they go shopping that is not high street or designer and really there wasn’t many cool places that they felt that represented their aesthetic. After doing a lot of research, I decided to bite the bullet and start KITRI to fill that gap.

What are your top styling tips for AW18

Haeni: Layering checks, colourful knitwear and vinyl. Vinyl is surprisingly easy to wear and it instantly makes the outfit feel tougher and cooler. Make sure to find a slightly more classic silhouette so it doesn’t scream lady of the night though! I love our Eleonora trousers with zip detail, the cut is relaxed on the legs so it’s easy to wear during the day. During the months of unseasonably warm weather during the day, make sure you layer with interesting checks which is huge this season and wear with colourful knitwear so that you’re ready for whatever the temperature.

Desert island fashion piece?

Haeni: If I’m only allowed one piece it would have to be a comfortable and floaty dress that would keep you cool during the day but also stylish just in case someone else gets washed ashore! I would take our Eliana Wrap Dress so I can wear it as a cover up as well as wear it as a dress.

The KITRI pop-up store is open Monday - Saturday 11am – 7pm, Sunday 12-6pm at 52 Brewer Street, London W1F 9TQ.

Penny Goldstone

Penny Goldstone is the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire, covering everything from catwalk trends to royal fashion and the latest high street and Instagram must-haves.

Penny grew up in France and studied languages and law at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University in Paris before moving to the UK for her MA in multimedia journalism at Bournemouth University. She moved to the UK permanently and has never looked back (though she does go back regularly to stock up on cheese and wine).

Although she's always loved fashion - she used to create scrapbooks of her favourite trends and looks, including Sienna Miller and Kate Moss' boho phase - her first job was at, sourcing the best deals for everything from restaurants to designer sales.

However she quit after two years to follow her true passion, fashion journalism, and after many years of internships and freelance stints at magazines including Red, Cosmopolitan, Stylist and Good Housekeeping, landed her dream job as the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire UK.

Her favourite part of the job is discovering new brands and meeting designers, and travelling the world to attend events and fashion shows. Seeing her first Chanel runway IRL at Paris Fashion Week was a true pinch-me moment.