Cleola: clothes for dreamy girls
How did the whole vision of Cleola come about?
I wasn’t really seeing anything out there that I was super inspired by, or every time I picked up a piece I would always want to change something about it. In my job I also wasn’t really getting to have creative control, so I think it honestly was just a natural process of transition into being a designer, where I could control all aspects of my job.
My great grandma, Cleola, became the inspiration behind the brand. She was an amazing woman who really influenced me with her words and her way of life. I knew what I wanted to create because it was everything that had been missing from my greatest fashion fantasies.
You were a stylist before becoming a designer. Do you think that those years styling helped open up your creativity?
Yes, absolutely. I don’t think I would be where I am without having been in styling for so long. I think it really gave me initiative to go out on my own, to be in control of the creative process where styling wasn’t letting me.
What type of girl do you want to convey through your designs?
Definitely a girl who is glamorous and mysterious and really wants to be seen as a modern-day princess. A girl who knows how to stay in touch with reality while living in a fantasy world.
Do you think LA influences your work as a designer?
For sure. I think that being here you spend a lot of time alone and in weird bits of nature around the city, and the Cleola mood is most definitely relaxed, dreamy vibes.
Who is someone that you look up to?
I look up to all the women in my life. They’re all such strong and incredible people. A lot of them run businesses and have beautiful families. They’re all so creative and independent, and it really makes me happy that I get to have them in my life and learn so much from them, especially in these hard times.
Are you working on the next collection now? If so, what’s the inspo behind it?
I am! I’m very excited about it, too. It’s all Havana, Cuba, tropical glittery vibes.
Who’s your favorite designer?
If I had to choose I think I’d go with Miu Miu. The luxury mixed with colorful playfulness gets me season after season.
What else do you love to do besides designing?
I love to write, it’s something I’ve been doing since elementary school. It’s definitely always a delightful fantasy to enter into. I’ve also recently taken up ceramics this past year and it’s my new favorite craft!
Do you do these things in your free time?
Mostly I’ve been interior decorating. I just moved into a house with two girls and it’s been so much fun, we spend all of our free time decorating. I also love a good party to get dressed up for, or a picnic at the Huntington Gardens. And I live for the spontaneous road trip.
See more from Cleola here.