Daniella Kallmeyer is the Owner/Designer of KALLMEYER New York. She got a Bachelor's Degree at London College of Fashion, majoring in Fashion Design & Technology. She interned/worked at LUCA LUCA, Proenza Schouler, McQ Alexander McQueen and Alice & Olivia before starting her own line in 2011.
Daniella's family is from South Africa. Her grandmother, a dressmaker, lived in New York and therefore, Daniella spent a lot of time there growing up. She always knew she was going to end up living in NYC.
From her travels, she has paid attention to the way people present themselves and how they behave. She understands the way people work inherently and how wearing a garment contributes to someone's identity.
Working with Lee McQueen of Alexander McQueen taught her perfectionism is important no matter how many times it takes to get to the final product. She worked on McQ which had a smaller team within Alexander McQueen. Her experience at McQ was more isolated and controlled which helped her take luxury consideration of design and transform it into a relatable context. Lee would come and review the textile work or the colors, references, inspiration, sketches, drapery, etc. She was able to take the inspiration from the couture collections of Alexander McQueen and translate it to the everyday woman for McQ which was a lightbulb moment for her to know how important it is to give this option to people.
She started her experience in the fashion world with LUCA LUCA. There was an intimacy to his design and the way the details & quality mattered. Having this as her first experience in this world, educating herself and understanding the industry was extremely influential. She payed attention to the interactions Luca had with others in the showroom, design studio and the store which explained to her early on why fashion and designing in this way matters.
Next, she interned with Proenza Schouler when they were a relatively small brand. Seeing the level of detail and uninhibited creativity catapulted her into a whole new level of desire to be a part of this world. Getting hired at Proenza had a lot to do with having worked at Alexander McQueen since they knew she was coming from an environment with that kind of challenge and authentic design process.
Growing up when she stayed with her grandmother, there was a sewing machine on the kitchen table and they'd get to fix up things or make changes, sew skirts, etc. She had an excitement and passion around these memories. She remembers laying her sister on this huge sheet of white paper and tracing her out. This was her first experience making a pattern at age eight. They had black and gold lame fabric laying around the house and she ended up using that to make a flat paper doll dress. For her graduation, she put together a collection with 21 looks. She always knew she wanted to be a designer, but it was a different kind of decision to start her own line after having experiences working for established brands.
Every good business comes from a need to fill a space and a lack of something. In her early twenties, she felt there was something missing in the contemporary accessibility space. She wanted a brand with international sophistication. A garment you can wear in front of your grandparents, best friends, business partners, interviews, first dates, etc that was accessible from both price point and lifestyle perspective, but that had a sense of personal grandeur with class, sophistication and timelessness.
Price point starts with aesthetic. How many places can they wear this? What does it mean for them to wear it in both a casual and formal way? Can it be both? Is it too much or too little of something? She understands construction and quality from her background because of the tai
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