Known worldwide for her vibrant caftans and swimwear, designer Camilla Franks has created a line synonymous summer, travel, and adventure. In May, she presented her Fall collection the most extravagant way she knew how: a sunrise cruise of Sydney Harbour, complete with live drummers, cocktails, and a slew of male models. We caught up with the designer during her NYC visit, to learn more about her creative process and inspiration. Meet Camilla Franks in store this Wednesday, July 13th on the 6th floor from 2-4pm.
When/how did you know you wanted to become a fashion designer?
I’ve never been a fashion girl! The CAMILLA you see today was born from my love of the stage. I would make caftans to lounge around in between scenes, and from there it took off. I designed and sewed my first pieces in my parent’s home in Sydney’s Watsons Bay (with the assistance of my very patient aunty and mum!). From there, I opened the Bondi Beach house, the first CAMILLA store. It’s been one big party ever since!
Your designs are always so vibrant and elaborately detailed. Do you have a favorite part of the design process?
Every part for me is special, although travelling and learning about new cultures and their textiles is always a highlight. This is when my creative juices start flowing!
Where do you draw inspiration from each season? Do you have a muse?
My constant traveling is the primary source of my inspiration. The discovery of cultures, food and artists fuel my creativity.
Around twice a year, my lead designer and I will hit the road in search of inspiration. We travel off the beaten track and truly walk the road less travelled in search of the unknown.
I communicate with people all around the world through the common language of textile and color, it was apparent as ever when I spent time with communities in Africa. It connects us.
I immerse myself into their world and all it represents; their music, food, colors, their daily life. I become one of them.
We have dueling cameras and usually come back with over 20,000 images that we then flick through to use as reference. This poetic collision of imagery and personal experiences translate into the prints for each collection which is designed to capture the essence of destinations, people and cultures.
You recently spent time in Africa, which inspired this Resort collection, ‘Jambo, Jambo.’ What was the most memorable moment of your trip?
Last year I travelled to some of the most remote tribes in Africa. Maasai, Pokot, Turkana and Samburu are all tribes I had the upmost honor of spending time with. It was a truly an experience that both changed and awakened me.
Everything was so beautiful, there were too many special moments. But above all, it truly solidified the meaning of tribe. That we’re all connected, we’re all one.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
I’d really love to explore Russia; it’s been playing on my mind for a while now. It’s just so vast! Alternatively, the moon (I hear the view is good).