Tell us about Cara Cara and the three fabulous women behind it. You all have a beautiful accomplished story- each with amazing career paths. Please explain! What made you all start this line?
Thank you - that means so much coming from one of our favorite stores on the planet! We all came together rather serendipitously in the Spring of 2019. Julia spent 20 years designing for commercially successful contemporary brands, including Nordstrom’s best-selling dress line. Always sketching dresses and collecting vintage textiles, she dreamed about launching a collection that aligned with her unique style point of view, as well as her place in life—a working mom living in New York and fleeing to the country on the weekends. Motherhood and the demands of raising children in the city kept that dream on hold, but she divulged the idea to Sasha Martin, a friend she had met through their sons’ pre-K class. Sasha, who had been working at Barclays for the last decade, was also ready for a change and agreed to partner with Julia to develop prints and silhouettes for what became Cara Cara’s launch collection. Rather magically, Katie, another friend and fellow “mum of boys” had just left her corporate fashion job and was looking for a new chapter. With design, production, finance, marketing, and branding all covered with the three founders’ combined 50 years of experience, Cara Cara became a reality.
How are y’all surviving Covid? What’s the mood? How’s life with your littles at home?
I think we could all agree that there have been definite pros and cons! All three of us were fortunate to have weekend homes outside the city and have been hunkered down. The time with our families has been irreplaceable, but we are New York girls and miss our city!
We are all learning so much from this and it has affected the way we view our collections, and what the woman we design for wants to wear. We are never going to be designing sweatpants, but it reinforced the fact that we want a sense of ease when we dress.
Having our little ones at home with us as we work has been challenging especially without child care, but there is a satisfaction knowing we can do this. With or without help. It’s very freeing. That being said, it definitely “takes a village” and we will be happy to have some help again!
How will COVID-19 change fashion? How will it change your business?
When we started Cara Cara we wanted to do something smaller, more thoughtful, and that was unapologetically joyful. That has not changed even during Covid. We are staying our course and feel our mission statement is more relevant than ever!
What will women want to wear this summer? And will you travel? If you are not traveling- what places are you most looking forward to visiting when life opens up again?
We will put our masks on travel a little bit around the north east! Watch Hill, the Hamptons, Nantucket, and Point of Woods between the 3 of us.
We are our own muses and don't put anything in the collection that we ourselves would not wear. Now that it's warmer, women are definitely out of their sweats and in to a dress or skirt. Easy dresses or a skirt that can be worn with a t-shirt or dressed up with a little cropped blouse! We also have a jumpsuit that Sasha has been sporting nearly every day. Europe is always a huge inspiration and just a lot of fun in the summer, so hopefully we will be back there one of these day! Also dreaming of a photo shoot in Cartagena!
What is your best source of inspiration now that you have been staying in place these past few months?
Nature - without question. Old movies - Hitchcock, Fellini, Huston. Vintage travel magazines like Holiday. Loads of books - Julia is reading the “Beautiful Fall” right now about YSL and Karl Lagerfeld in Paris during the 70s! A great read if you love fashion! And we've all been having some luck with gardening!
Any books, movies, tv shows to recommend?
Katie: I must admit, I purchased the ‘House of Trelawney’ by Hannah Rothschild purely because of the whimsical cover in a lovely shade Tiffany blue - it just popped off the shelf. I then immediately devoured it. It's the story of a dysfunctional aristocratic family living in a crumbling castle in Cornwall whose lavish past has resulted in a current state of financial ruin. The characters are eccentric and magnificent and there's a good bit of humor, heartbreak and one beautiful love story all intertwined.
Julia: Killing Eve is a must! Just loved it! My husband and I always go back to Woody Allen movies for a feel good moment - which was needed after watching the Jeffrey Epstein documentary! The Americans is good for the retro 80s fashion and everything looks great on Keri Russell. Outlander also a good fashion feed! Love Clair’s chic pioneer looks!
Sasha: I have been living on a strict diet of 30 Rock reruns since March. In these uncertain times I need laughs I can count on, and 30 Rock is 100% fail-safe! I also just finished reading ‘London’ by Edward Rutherfurd, which follows a large cast of characters through metropolitan London’s history from pre-Roman empire through to the Second World War. I love historical fiction and ‘London’ was an epic journey that helped transport me back to one of my favorite places while travel is off the table.
What women inspire you the most?
Working moms! Especially during Covid. They have really risen to the occasion of working along with everything.
Have you been you bored, busy, or both?
We've been super busy but in the best way possible. A silver lining to this odd and uncertain year has been spending more time with our families. Julia and Sasha formed a home based camp in Millbrook for their kids and have been playing a ton of tennis, riding and hosting intimate outdoor gatherings with close friends. I've been doing the same out east and am part of a little "quaranteam" with my best girls and their families. I think the lack of FOMO has also been rather refreshing. It's a beautiful time to focus on what's dearest in life. Professionally, we've also derived a lot of new creativity during this time as a result of having to think so far out of the box, and pivot in new directions to keep the business healthy and relevant.