Cally Rieman is a New York-based women’s ready-to-wear designer who launched the KAL RIEMAN collection in 2010. Showing that every woman can live their dream, this powerful women spent four post years college in the financial industry, she realized fashion was where she really thrived.
If you want to read more about Cally Rieman’s inspiring success story for her brand KAL RIEMAN keep reading!
Tell us about yourself and some background on how you got started in your career?
I am a graduate of East Asian Studies and Political Science from Denison University. After 3 years of working in the Finance Industry in Chicago, I went back to school to study fashion at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. My career in fashion started with an apprenticeship with Jean Charles de Castelbajac in Paris, followed by a move to New York, working for Rubin Chapelle. After 8 years working in corporate fashion, I started KAL RIEMAN.
Since NYFW has quickly came and left in a blink, were you able to see any shows or possibly have any collections shown?
During fashion week, we present to the new collection to our store buyers at our showroom in the Garment District. Since it all happens at once, I rarely get to see other brand’s shows.
Could you talk a little bit about your design process and what inspires you when you begin a new collection?
Every collection begins differently. Sometimes it starts with the fabrics, sometimes it is a lifestyle image or a place in time that inspires a feeling we try to re-imagine. But there is usually one concept we build around, from the colors to the styles.
I know that you strongly admire sustainability and timeless pieces within a collection. How has the process of sustainability influenced your career within the fashion industry?
I have always gravitated towards things that stand the test of time. Raised by parents born in the 30’s, we were taught never to waste and to value everything we had. If something is made with quality and care and is well designed, it has a long life span. I apply those same principles to every collection I design. We make very thoughtful fabric selections and every garment should something you can wear time and time again.
Recently, you developed your first Cashmere sweater for the collection, what was that process like since it was not developed in NYC?
The process of developing the Cashmere collection was very simple. A long time vendor of mine introduced me to the woman who would be developing the program. Once I heard her story of educating and employing local artisans in Madagascar to make the sweaters, and how she supported the community in the area, it just felt right. Inspired by her compassion, we pay it forward by supporting local animal rescue organizations with proceeds from all of our cashmere sales.
Aside from working hard, what is something you love to do in your free time?
I have big and wonderful family and am blessed with an amazing group of friends. So when I am not working, spending time with them is my priority.
As you know, BELLA’s tagline is “Beauty Defined by You”, how would you define beauty?
Beauty is a wise and compassionate woman.
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