I’m really excited to introduce this new series of posts highlighting amazing boss ladies who are in/around the fashion industry. Not only do they inspire fashion, but they embody style themselves. I’m truly fascinated by fashion and style – the inspiration in creating it, the process of producing it, the people that influence it, and the business behind it.. which is the spirit behind this blog!
This first post features Eva Calonder from Printed Wild who handmade the clutch featured in last week’s post. I first met Eva at pop-up event where she was selling her line of handmade clutches. We just started chatting and you could immediately tell that she was a wonderful, warm hearted person, who had impeccable style. I knew I wanted Eva to be to the first featured lady on Broadcloth.
Interview with Eva Calodar
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
Well, I’m French, but also American and Swiss. I was born in France and grew up in a town called Aix-en-Provence [you should hear her say it; it’s wonderful!].
I have no idea where that is; I’ve only been to Paris!
It’s the most beautiful place. It’s in South of France in the Provence region, close to Marseille and the Mediterranean sea. It is a very pretty city, with amazing weather.
Miss it, I take it?
Eva: Yeah, of course.
What about Printed Wild – how did it get started; why did you create it?
The whole story starts with my mother, who is Cuban and was born here in Washington D.C. My grandfather was a diplomat at that time and she grew up here. I remember visiting my grandparents when I was a kid, so it’s funny that I eventually ended up here with my partner because of a professional opportunity.
After we moved, I was unsure if I wanted to keep on working as a graphic designer as I had been doing for years. I took some time to figure out what I was interesting in. I did some research and found inspiring pattern design blogs. I had studied illustration and always loved drawing. So I took a class at the Corcoran School of the Arts & Design and just started designing patterns; that is how Printed Wild was born.
Do you make all your own pieces?
I used to when I first started out: drawing, screen printing, cutting fabric and ironing, sewing! Now that I receive more orders and my brand is expanding, I outsource the screen printing and hired a seamstress to help, but still do a lot of it myself.
So, it’s still very much you and your process.
Yes, yes, yes!
What is your process like – where do you find the inspiration and how do you come up with your designs?
I am inspired by nature. As you can see, most of the patterns are leafs, flowers or botanicals. I have three ways to create the patterns: I carve linoleum blocks, cut stencils, or do very intricate pen and ink drawings. Then, I scan the design I made and transform it into a repeating pattern in Photoshop, adding or deleting whatever I want. When the pattern is ready, I send it to the screen printers and it goes from there.
What kind of girl do you imagine wearing Printed Wild?
A stylish women! No specific age, but someone who appreciates quality. Plus, black and white is a classic; it’s timeless! It’s definitely for someone who wants to invest a little. You can buy clutches anywhere for super cheap, but these are good quality, made with an environmentally friendly process here in the USA and will last.
What about your personal style?
I’m not drawn into anything seasonal. If I like something, there is a good chance I will be wearing it in ten years. I avoid fast fashion as much as I can, but I love shopping so it’s very hard. I find myself going to thrift shops and buying second-hand so I’m not participating in the first round of consumerism.
So you go for the timeless, classic look. I mean, you pull off all black better than anyone I have ever met.
Black is.. [chuckle]. I always hesitate, thinking I should buy more colors. But I know myself and black is my way to go. The style I like is usually very simple; you can’t get bored with something classic. You can always play with accessories and jewelry. I’m not excited by having a new wardrobe every season, I’m happier to find a coat that will last for years.
So, what’s your favorite item in your closet and why?
That’s a hard question. I will definitely pick something with sentimental value, like earrings my mother gave me or a scarf an aunt used to wear.
That’s so lovely! What’s next for Printed Wild?
Well, first being a mother! I say I’m having my second baby, because Printed Wild is kind of my first ;). It’s going to take some time to settle and figure it out. I want to keep Printed Wild rolling, maybe by finding extra help with the production, which is very time consuming. It is hard to plan right now as I don’t know what it will be to become a mother and how my baby will be like: maybe I won’t go back to work for a couple of months, or maybe I’ll feel really inspired and return only after a few weeks!
To wrap things up, we’re going to do a little quick fire round!
Go-to style inspiration (you can say me!) – Jane Birkin. Less is more, she looks good in a pair of blue jeans and white teeshirt.
Last fashion purchase – This eye earring stud, from Steadfast Supply. The designer is 76th and Maine.
Favorite clothing store – Shop Kaleidos. I love the collections Amanda curates and she’s so stylish herself!. The pieces are often made in the US or vintage.
Favorite fashion city – Paris, of course.
Heels or flats – Flats, without a doubt
Diamonds or pearls – Both
Fashion trend you’re tired of now – I don’t know if I can say it; shorts. I’m French; shorts are not allowed. There’s a fashion police that will arrest you. [chuckle]
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? – I always loved to draw. I didn’t have a specific idea, but something artistic.
How about now, what do you want to be when you grow up? – Happy. I am already, but continue to be so.
What’s your favorite curse word – Putain! All French people love it. [I looked it up and it supposedly means damn!]
Since this interview, Eva had her beautiful baby girl. Congratulations to the happy little family!