Purple Magazine
— F/W 2012 issue 18

Calla Haynes

Calla Haynes

portrait by GIASCO BERTOLI


The 31-year-old Canadian designer Calla Haynes dropped out of college to start working in fashion in Paris. Her eponymous label, Calla, was recently nominated for two ANDAM awards.

CAROLINE GAIMARI —  How did you end up in Paris?
CALLA HAYNES — When I was 16, I taught myself to sew and make patterns. I lived in the same house in downtown Toronto until the age of 18, when I moved to New York City to attend Parsons. I transferred to Parsons Paris for my junior year. I got a great internship at Rochas with Olivier Theyskens and had a great boyfriend, so I dropped out of school and stayed! If I had gone back to New York to finish at Parsons, I don’t think I ever would have had the guts to come back to Paris.

CAROLINE GAIMARI — What did you do after the internship ended?
CALLA HAYNES — Olivier offered to hire me. I worked with him at Rochas for three-and-a-half years, then moved with him to Nina Ricci. When I left, I first tried to find another job and worked freelance for a lot of designers, designing prints for brands in New York, Paris, Canada, and Japan.I never thought about doing my collection — what a scary, horrible thought!

CAROLINE GAIMARI —  What made you think that Paris was the right place to start your own fashion line?
CALLA HAYNES — In Paris you have so much access to savoir-faire and suppliers that you wouldn’t have in New York. But there are a lot of business challenges in France; there is so much more bureaucracy, costs, and taxes. The hardest place to succeed in fashion is Paris. Buyer, press, and sponsorship interest is so much more present in New York and London, and just doesn’t really exist in Paris. In fashion, if you can make it in Paris, you can make it anywhere.

CAROLINE GAIMARI — You design all the prints for your own collection and freelance design prints for major fashion labels worldwide. What is the process?
CALLA HAYNES — Textures and photos of nature are my inspiration. I start with photos, say, ones I’ve taken on my iPhone. Or I will do a charcoal painting and scan it into the computer. Then I make tons of layers and apply filters in Photoshop. It’s really a collage work that I put on repeat. It’s almost like a painting with a technical purpose.

CAROLINE GAIMARI — Have you been collaborating with other brands?
CALLA HAYNES — In the last year I designed a telephone-purse with Samsung France, a bathing suit and beach outfit for Maria Luisa X Trois Suisses, and I collaborated on denim with April 77. Friends in New York that work in fashion tell me to stop everything and just do denim and jersey! But I am too attached to the collection to stop. After three years, it’s still growing and there is the anticipation of getting to the next collection to see how much bigger it can get — to see if all the time, energy, and money could pay off just that much more.

[Table of contents]

F/W 2012 issue 18

Table of contents

purple EDITO

purple NEWS






purple BEAUTY

purple TRAVEL

purple LOVE

purple NAKED

purple PHILO

purple NIGHT

purple WINTER


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