IN Interviews : Carla Colour
Carla Robertson is a great example of an individual armed with nothing other than an interest and a vision in order to turn a dream into a reality.
Carla Colour isn’t your typical line of fashionable sunglasses. Instead, the brand features an electric array of colors, frame shapes, and materials — all created with sustainability and quality at top of mind. Currently going on its ninth season, Robertson shows no signs of slowing down. Her creations have been worn by the likes of Tegan and Sara, been touted by the likes of Garance Doré and i-D Magazine.
Read on to see how Carla does it all!
How did Carla Colour all start?
I [had] always dreamed of making a product … and then I fell pregnant with twins and realized if I didn’t launch my brand before the babies arrived I’d never get around to doing it! So I harnessed my second trimester hormones and made it happen. My husband also played a huge role, inspiring me to let go of my fear and take the leap.
"All my factories operate under my code of conduct, promising ethical and responsible production methods."
What inspired your collection for SS18?
The Silk Electric collection is all about sophisticated indulgence for bright party days. Shimmering disco tunes and positivity!
How do you maintain the brand ethos of staying socially responsible with your production process?
I aim to approach all facets of my life with responsibility and morality. Carla Colour is simply an extension of that! From being environmentally conscious to embracing diversity, I do my best to create responsibly. All my factories operate under my code of conduct, promising ethical and responsible production methods. I also embrace the slow-fashion movement in everything I do.
Which comes first in creating each piece for your collections: form or function? Why?
I believe you can’t have one without the other … I would say form is first. If a piece is not comfortable and functional then you’ll never want to wear it. Quality is everything. Once comfort and quality are in check, I like to have a colour party with the form.
How has your external stimuli/inspiration shifted since relocating from Brisbane to Brooklyn?
New York has a lot of creative buoyancy. Everyone is giving their dreams a shot! I always find so much encouragement and inspiration here. Moving to NYC really helped me to take the leap and start my brand.
You were a TV Producer for several years before starting Carla Colour. What skills have you taken from your old life that have proven beneficial in your new life as a designer and business owner?
Running a business is a lot like film production. It’s more than a full-time job. You always get out what you put in. Multitasking is key. You must set boundaries, but aim for the stars! I feel very fortunate to be able to run my own business. It really is a dream come true.
The owners of Infashuated have corporate day jobs in design, which means being surrounded by lots of black fashion in the workplace. The first thing that drew us to your work were the shapes of your frames and bold palette. Why do you think people are so intimidated by color?
I think generally people like to blend in. I guess that’s human nature. I personally use colour as a means of self expression each day … and I really design with that in mind. I hope that people can find their own joyful self expression within my products and feel great!
We hear you’re a thrift maven. What are several rules to follow when buying good vintage?
Good quality fabrics! Always choose wool, cotton, linen. Don't be dazzled by a colour or pattern. Start with quality fabric and then let the colour and print light your fire. The same print in a synthetic material can look terrible … quality counts, then have fun.
What’s next for Carla Colour?
COLOUR, COLOUR, COLOUR! Wild, two-tone acetates and sharp futuristic styles!
Avocado or Vegemite on toast?
Vegemite with lots of butter.
Kids are natural comics. What's the funniest thing you heard recently from the twins?
“We don't eat love.”
Which fashion label(s) pairs perfectly with your SS18 collection at the moment?
I love A’Detacher. Mona has such a strong sense of style and colour. A truly authentic brand.
What’s the first landmark you suggest to people visiting Australia for the first time?
The Bourke Street Bakery in Sydney for a pork and fennel sausage roll. Nothing better than that.
Album playing on repeat on the Sonos, Google Home, Home Pod, Alexa, or other chosen home device?
Brian Eno - Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks. Track: Always Returning.
Ye or nay to wearing sunglasses at night?
Ye, if the lasers are bright enough.
Which shape are you most Infashuated with currently?
MODAN! It’s my homage to Madonna’s style in the 80s.