The shOws: 5 Questions with designer Calla Haynes

Toronto-born Calla Haynes has been forging her own path on the Paris fashion scene for the past decade. It's no wonder the 33-year-old designer is renowned for her prints, having cut her teeth working on textiles with the illustrious Olivier Theyskens at Rocha and Nina Ricci. 

Calla has attracted the attention of the fashion world at large, amassing a number of award nominations (ADNAM and Dorchester Fashion Prize) and lending her beautiful eye to collaborations with brands like April 77 and French staple Comptoir des Cottoniers

Ths Spring/Summer 2014 Calla collection, which shows at The ShOws in Toronto on October 9 after a debut at New York Fashion Week, pares it down to two bold prints in lieu of her usual handful and looks to the 90s for inspiration. Beverly Hills 90210? Yes please! 

We asked Calla the WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN and WHY of her collection. See her answers below!


WHAT was your inspiration for the spring/summer 2014 collection?
Spring Summer 2014 channels my nostalgia for the early 90s: inspirations like American Vogue, sexy Bruce Weber photographs, Beverly Hills 90210 and Baywatch. I wanted to recapture that moment when fashion felt so exciting and fresh, when everything I saw was new. There's definitely a California vibe happening mixing the flirty supermodel with the edgy surfer boy.

WHY do you love showing in Toronto and the energy at the shOws?
Toronto is my hometown so it's an amazing experience to present my work here.  I love working with the shOws team and all the beautiful Canadian models that they cast! There's such a positive energy - I feel so well taken care of and supported. It's a dream come true!

WHEN people see the collection what do you hope they’ll take away from it?
I love when people say that the collection feels 'fresh'. I hope that women will be drawn to it by the fact that it's unique - especially the fabrics - but also easy to wear. I hope that they'll see that if they wear CALLA they will have a lot of fun!

WHO is the “Calla Haynes” woman and what is she doing on a Saturday afternoon in Toronto?
The Calla client is a creative type - I see her working in the arts, or at least appreciating the arts!  She's definitely busy on a Saturday!  I see her checking out some art galleries downtown, getting some funky nail art at Pinky's, and shopping at a cool boutique like Jonathan & Olivia.  Or maybe with my new swimwear for Spring Summer 2014, she's hanging by the pool at the Thompson Hotel!

WHERE do you see yourself and your brand in five years?
I see the brand growing into not just womenswear but accessories, a menswear offering, and home decor. I see CALLA as a design studio that's building a very strong brand identity through my dedication to original textile design. I really admire women like Laura Ashley and Armi Ratia of Marimekko, and have a lot of respect for the way they built their companies. I hope I can build something like they did. A few goals for the future are to open a flagship store in Paris, and release my scent that I've developed with olfactory branding company, 12.29.  

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