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While some talents prefer to fly solo, others find success in the buddy system. After meeting on the job 20 years ago at Levi's, designers Caroline Calvin and Joie Rucker knew there was something to their creative chemistry. "From the start, we knew that this was a long-lasting relationship," they tell us.
Six months in, the two were already toying with the idea of launching their own brand. Instead, they followed their separate career paths; Calvin became the senior vice president of global design at Levi's while Rucker headed to Guess and then went on to co-founded her eponymous line, Joie, and Rich & Skinny denim. It was "a fateful surf session" four years ago that inspired the industry veterans to finally launch their own line, Calvin Rucker.
Now in its third season, the DTLA-produced brand defines itself as "casual couture for the creative class." Calvin Rucker's new summer collection fuses its edgy, upscale aesthetic into beach-ready separates; think pieces that wear seamlessly from the coast to the city.
Below, find out what inspired the designers's spring and summer lines, and shop it at boutiques like Elyse Walker, Gratus, Madison, and Newport Beach's Michael Nuskern.
What inspired you to create Calvin Rucker?
Caroline and Joie: We met in 1995 while working on the design team for the Levi's Brand where we forged a strong friendship and creative partnership. It was cool working together for the Levi's Brand as we teamed up on fit and finish innovations and found a very unique ying-and-yang approach to the design process.
After six months of collaborating at Levi's we already started talking about launching our own brand but then we took different [career] paths. Fast forward 15 years later to 2011, and one fateful surf session where we decided to launch the dream.
Who do you have in mind when designing the line?
Caroline and Joie: We created Calvin Rucker for women like ourselves who love and appreciate clothing with a couture level quality of sewing, fabric and details, and want to adopt it for everyday use. We're obsessed with fabrics and details and are passionate about creating a unique approach to our pieces, whether it's a date night top, t-shirt, or the perfect fitting skinny jean.
We create and produce the collection in DTLA which allows us to be in the factories and laundries daily. It's our way of making sure we deliver the highest quality of casual design that will inspire our customers.
We hold ourselves accountable to make a difference in a woman's wardrobe.
Who are you design and style muses?
Caroline and Joie: We are influenced by women of unique and distinct personal style who have an effortless sexy approach to how they dress from the past and present— like '70s-era Jane Birkin, who is exudes the romantic rocker look, to present-day Cara Delevigne's rebellious chic.
We are also inspired by each others style which we feel is the root of our look a merging of feminine/rocker/casual chic.
What's the inspiration behind your spring and summer lines?
Caroline and Joie: Loving the '70s, we merged the iconic chic style of St. Tropez with the cool confident attitude of LA. Spring ands summer 2015 brings Bianca Jagger and Jane Birkin to LA to create a casual, edgy romantic rocker style.
What are a few of your favorite pieces from the spring and summer ranges, and how do you wear them?
Caroline and Joie: We love our short sleeve stripe lace shell worn with our Love Me Vintage Boyfriend Jeans. The Santa Monica off the shoulder top and dress is the perfect St. Tropez-meets-LA style.