Founded in 2019 by a trio of NYC-based friends, Cara Cara combines the joyful spirit of being on holiday, with exuberant and versatile wardrobe pieces to wear year-round. Enjoy our chat with founders Julia, Sasha and Katie and discover more about what's behind the brand!
What lead you to found Cara Cara? Can you tell us more about your backgrounds and how did you meet?
Our lives collided through our kids. Julia and Sasha's sons attended the same school on the Upper East Side and Julia and Katie had been a part of a moms group in Tribeca. We were all struggling to balance a corporate career and family in the city and had a shared desire to apply our experiences - which spanned from fashion design to marketing to digital strategy at several luxury brands - to a brand of our own
What's your first fashion memory?
Julia: Absolute first was really really wanting a pair of jeans with flower embroidery. I must have been about 5. I have always been obsessed with clothes from day 1. I thank God every day that I get to create clothes for a living!
Sasha: Paging through Vogue and Brides magazines with my father, picking out my dream gowns and debating the quality and cost of their fabrics and trims
Katie: The white lace bustier wedding dress that Madonna wore in her Like a Virgin music video. Much to my mother's horror, I would dress up in my First Communion Dress and lip sync to the video
Where do you take inspiration from when designing for Cara Cara?
We are most inspired by the wonderful group of women in our lives - sisters, friends, co-workers - the vibrant, smart and incredibly loyal group of colleagues and customers who carried us and inspired us through these first years of running a business through a pandemic. Their wardrobes require both style and function, and we use that lens of balancing dreams with reality to focus our development process
What's your favourite material and why?
The foundation of the brand is cotton poplin. It's crisp, classic and is a beautiful fabric to showcase our in-house designed prints
How do you want women to feel when wearing your pieces?
Joyful is the first word that comes to mind. Our designs are vibrant, romantic and optimistic, but beyond that we want women to feel versatility and timeless. A Cara Cara piece can go from day to night and has a classic quality that can inspire confidence and a feeling of happiness for many seasons and occasions
What sustainability means to you and how do you translate it into your brand?
Sustainability to us means limiting waste, first and foremost. We are a cut-to-order business for wholesale and buy a very limited quanity of product for our own website. Leftover fabrics are factored into planning for each new season of development, and we work with a number of non-profits to donate our scrap fabrics for upcyling projects. We also incorporate organic and sustainable fabrics into our main collections, and are excited to be collaborating with a number of artisanal factories to expand the scale of production we can achieve with them
How do you define style?
Coco Chanel said it best, "Fashion changes, but style endures"
What's your dream travel destination?
Julia: Too many to list! But in the near future somewhere tropical like Harbour island in the Bahamas. It’s freezing rain at the moment in NYC!
Sasha: Switzerland. I went to school in the mountains and am always inspired by the awesome scale and beauty of the Alps
Katie: I traveled to India in my twenties with a backpack and a budget. I'd love to return and experience the otherworldly palaces that have been transformed into hotels in Jaipur and Udaipur
What're your travel essentials?
Julia: Practically speaking a sturdy piece of rolling luggage -a balenciaga straw tote that doubles as a beach bag and a cara cara dress that can go day to evening, and some vintners daughter
Sasha: My ancient LV duffle bag, a Cara Cara Tanglewood dress to take me from early meetings to dinner, and my silk sleep mask for sneaking naps on trains and planes
Katie: A great silk scarf for styling versatility, a Cara Cara Hutton Blouse to pair with a versatile pair of jeans and a printed Cara Cara skirt, a swimsuit and pareo, and a few Westman Atelier beauty products to maintain a nice skin glow