Emerging label Cara Cara is one to watch—and also one to fill your closet with before the wanderlust comes calling. Created by three friends, Julia Workman Brown, Sasha Martin, and Katie Hobbs—all experts in the fashion industry—the ready-to-wear brand effortlessly combines glamour and versatility with flirty prints and breezy fabrics that each tell a story. Below, we talk with the trio about the inspiration behind their line, what makes this ShopBAZAAR Hero so special, and what’s next for the brand.
We don’t consider trends when designing, but rather start with the prints and dream up a story around the feeling evoked by them.
Describe the beginnings of Cara Cara.
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.
Serendipitously, Katie Hobbs, 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.
What makes the ShopBAZAAR Hero so special?
The Montauk dress was one of the first pieces we designed for Cara Cara. The sleeves are so romantic, and they balance the flirty mini silhouette. Cotton poplin is a staple of the collection, and we love how crisp and packable it is—perfect to pop out of a weekend bag for a warm-weather getaway.
Inspiration behind the collection?
We are eternally invigorated by our brilliant city. The spring collection was inspired by the inimitable New York summer, when golden days out east blend seamlessly into simmering city nights. The entire collection is designed in New York City by an all-female team and produced in both the garment center and a Nest-certified facility in India that supports female artisans. Dressmaker details are a hallmark of the collection and include covered zippers, lining, and meticulous fit considerations.
What sets your brand apart?
We don’t consider trends when designing, but rather start with the prints and dream up a story around the feeling evoked by them. Every collection is vetted and obsessed over. Does it fit a variety of body types? Is it flattering? Where would we go in this? Which of our friends can we see in this piece? It’s a very organic, authentic, and fun process, and we think it’s reflected in the clothes.
What do you want your pieces to achieve for their wearer?
We want to elicit joy. A flattering fit and a design that feels enduring.
Words that describe the Cara Cara woman?
Joyful, confident, sensual, adventurous, tastemaker, art lover.
Anything you want to highlight about the brand?
We’ve only just begun. We are developing new fabrics, silhouettes, and categories. We are in this for the long haul!
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