When latex aficionados, couturiers and artists discuss fashion, one of the first names to come up always seems to be Klawdya Rothschild’s. As one of the world’s preeminent designers in the medium and founder of KLAWTEX, she is at the epicenter of latex, costuming and couture in New York City … and frankly, the rest of the world.
Rothschild has worked with magazines includingWmagazine, Interview and Tush. Her company is the corporate sponsor for the New York Rubber Ball and Miss Rubber World. She has designed for celebrities including Sophia Larou and some singer named … what was it? Oh, yes: Madonna.
Despite operating in what many might consider the rarified atmosphere of mainstream celebrity culture, Rothschild remains remarkably down-to-earth, personable, charming and downright likable.
See for yourself.
YNOT.com: The most obvious question is “Why latex?” What drew you to the material?
Klawdya Rothschild: I have a cheesy answer to this, and then a not-so-cheesy answer. As a child, I was definitely drawn to rubber things: Picture little Klaw in her pigtails and pleats chewing on Barbie legs. I think it’s definitely a texture thing, and to this day I still love chewy foods.
Now for the non-cheesy answer: My first interaction with latex as a substrate was through theatrical effects. I started working pro-theatre on the tech side — backstage — when I was 14, doing wigs and make up for drag queens. Then I graduated to special effects and props. These things require a lot of latex casting and liquid effects, like prosthetics.
Then I went to fashion school in London, and I then began making art with latex. My first large-scale latex piece was a walk-in vagina and uterus that was eight feet tall and made of high-density foam and latex.
After this I was approached by a few different latex designers, including my dear friend Michael Slyx of Slyx Fashions, and it sort of went from there. In my 20s, as a fetish model and performer, it started to make even more sense to me, as my notions of latex as a literal second skin became infused with new sexual and aesthetic connotations.